UFC 286 is scheduled to be played on Saturday, with the main event being Welterweight title fight between current champion Leon Edwards and Kamaru Usman. The bout will offer Usman an opportunity to redeem himself after his title loss to Edwards via knockout in UFC 278.
On Friday, former MMA fighter Michael Bisping has delved into what Usman might be feeling before the high-voltage contest. Bisping cited his own example when during his playing career he got knocked down by Dan Henderson at UFC 100. Seven years later in UFC 204 when Bisping locked horns with Henderson again, the Previous loss played heavily on his mind.
“For me, when I fought Henderson the first time, I got sparked out, I got knocked out really badly — and you can lie to everyone, but you can’t lie to yourself,” Bisping at UFC 286’s guest fighter Q&A.
“You can talk to the media, you can do interviews, even your friends and family, say, ‘Yeah, yeah, I’m confident, I’m good, I’m good.’ But then on the day, I started thinking, ‘The last time I stepped in a cage with this guy, I got knocked out unconscious and the whole world laughed at me.’ So the nerves started to creep in,” he recalled.
Bisping talked about what Usman might go through in his mind before the bout starts on Saturday. He also highlighted how much impact his previous loss to Edwards, would have on his pysche and confidence before he enters the cage.
“To be honest, that’s what Kamaru is going to go through [Saturday] night. Because, he doesn’t know it — and he’s a very, very special athlete, so I’m not saying that he can’t come back from that, because you can — but still, he probably isn’t aware, until the final few hours of preparation, when you’re laying in bed, you’re trying to take a nap, trying to save your energy for the fight, and you find you can’t sleep. Because, hold on a minute, the realization that you’re going to fight this man again and you might get put to sleep in front of the whole world, it’s a nerve-wracking thing,” said Bisping.