UFC President Dana White believes Kamaru Usman’s iron chin might be his best attribute of all.
Usman, the UFC welterweight champion, returned to action opposite No. 1 contender Gilbert Burns in the main event of UFC 258 last Saturday in Las Vegas. While he wound up defending his title with a third-round stoppage of Burns, he absorbed a huge punch in the first round that probably would have stopped a less durable fighter.
Speaking at the UFC 258 post-fight press conference, White heaped praise on Usman, and was particularly impressed by the champion’s iron chin. In fact, he believes that chin might be Usman’s best attribute of all.
“For all the attributes that Usman has, his chin is probably his best one,” White said (via MMA Fighting). “This guy’s got a chin from hell. He took some big shots tonight and just kept coming forward.
“I was just talking to him there, and he said, ‘[Burns] buzzed me with that first shot, but I’ve been there with him before.’ He said he used to get hit with that punch when they used to spar, and basically it just made him mad, and he said, ‘I’m going to finish him.’”
While White was clearly blown away by Usman’s durability at UFC 258, the champ himself says he wasn’t actually that hurt by Burns’ big punch in round one, but recognizes that it could have been much worse.
“I wasn’t necessarily hurt,” Usman said. “I was just kind of a little off-balance. The cage was slippery, and I kept pouring water on the ground, because it was very slippery in there. But it was a funny thing, because that’s exactly how our sparring went. He was a lightweight coming up, but he’s got big, big power in his hands, and he’s a hooker. Anybody else in the division, they get caught with one of those hooks, they’re going to sleep.”
Whatever the case, Dana White is clearly very high on his welterweight champion.
“For the people that actually know about fighting, they know that this win was a big deal over a very motivated, well-trained, mentally tough, confident, badass kid,” White said.
What do you think is next for Kamaru Usman after UFC 258?