(Video courtesy of PFL MMA)
Upon signing with the PFL, heavyweight Mohammed Usman had one simple goal in mind: become the 2020 season champ and get a check for $1,000,000. Unfortunately for Usman, the novel coronavirus put those plans on hold.
Throughout lockdown, Usman remained upbeat and used the time to work on his game, and fortunately get in at least one fight this year.
“Of course my goal was to make a million dollars,” Usman told MMAWeekly.com. “Right now I would be getting ready for the championship, but I’ve just been getting through it by staying positive, just training, and staying in constant communication with the PFL.
“This has been a harsh year, but that’s why I was really fortunate that the PFL allowed me to go fight at Titan FC (in August). You can train as much as you want, but you never know what you’re going to do until you get into the cage. It’s very, very important that you get cage time and just keep getting better.”
Usman believes he was able to use his bout versus Terrance Hodges at Titan FC 63 to help gauge what he had been working on during the summer and get the experience he was looking for when he took the bout.
“I feel I performed good at a lot of avenues that I felt like I wanted to perform at, but there are avenues that I can still get better at,” said Usman. “I want to get better in my ground and pound. I want to get better at my transitions on the ground. That comes with more grappling and more Jiu-Jitsu.
“It really helps me to spend a lot of time in the cage; that’s why I went three rounds. A lot of people asked why I didn’t finish the guy, but at the end of the day I did what I wanted to do in the cage. I wanted to push my body, I wanted to push my cardio, and that’s what I did. That tells me I’m doing the right things in my camp. Now it’s time to go to the next level with it.”
While Usman might not get a chance to step into a PFL cage anytime soon, he is still getting exposure as part of the promotion’s Prep Point series, hosted by Lillian Garcia.
“It means the world to me,” Usman said. “It means the (PFL) believes in me, as much as I believe in myself. I believe I’m here for a reason. I’m going to go show the fans what they haven’t seen yet. And for those who have seen me, I’m going to show them the next level of me – a complete fighter.
“Fighting is just one aspect of our lives. We’re still human. When I step out of the cage I’m not ‘The Motor,’ I’m Mohammed. You have to be able to switch it on and off. By letting people kind of in and let them see who you are behind the scenes, it’s refreshing. They know they’re speaking to somebody just like them.”
For Usman, the goal for the coming 2021 season is the same as it was for the 2020 season: earn a championship and earn the money that comes with it.
“That’s the goal, 100 percent,” said Usman. “There’s nothing below that. The sky’s the limit and I’m looking towards the sky. My goal is to run out there a millionaire and continue to build my legacy.”