PFL 3 takes place on Thursday, May 6th as the 2021 season continues. This card emanates from Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Professional Fighters League broadcasts on ESPN + and ESPN 2. The heavyweights and the women’s lightweights are the prominently featured fighters in this event. I spoke with Mohammed Usman, brother of reigning UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, prior to his heavyweight prizefight with Brandon Sayles.
I was just curious because on some of the aggregator sites, I’m noticing your nickname is The Motor. Which I presume is a commentary on your cardio.
How important is the ability to weaponize pace within your overall fighter skill set?
“It’s very important. At the end of the day, everybody goes into this thing called fighting with certain gifts and certain talents. Of course, you train, you learn and you work hard. But that name came with me from football. And just in football, I didn’t know why, but I always went everywhere…Wherever the receivers are, I’m running to the receivers.”
“So my coaches, just called me the motor, because I never stopped moving until the whistle blow. I brought that same mindset into MMA and like my coaches say, like Vinny and Cody say, my cardio is a weapon. So when I go out there and people throw jabs and throw right hands and bombs, my cardio is the exact same thing. I’m going to use that in the cage.”
I’m kind of curious too, with you talking about the specific field within this season and how you have to have like a myopic, kind of focus on your immediate opponent.
To that point I’m kind of wondering, in doing tape study on Brandon Sayles, what sort of stylistic proclivities you may have noticed he brings to the table?
“He likes to be aggressive…He’s been aggressive to a lot of the guys that I’ve watched on tape. Watched him fight. He’s a tough guy, he’s a military guy. So he’s coming in there with that tough mindset. He’s just coming in there to try to be aggressive. He’s never faced nobody like me and it’s going to show come Thursday night.”