Michael Johnson Drops Bombs On Kamaru Usman In Sparring And Things Got Testy
When it comes to training, there is nothing quite like sparring to put all the hard technical work into practice. There is no point isolating different techniques and rehearsing them over and over if, when the chips are down and you’re facing a real opponent, you are unable to execute them to the same level. So sparring affords fighters the opportunity to see how their techniques stack up against an opponent who is not only defending but can retaliate!
Kamaru Usman and Michael Johnson are two powerhouse names of the UFC and despite being in different weight divisions, have developed a great sparring relationship which allows them to go hammer and tong against each other in the pursuit of greatness. Generally when fighters spar, the hold back a bit in order to make sure no one gets too badly hurt. But make no mistake, these two don’t leave anything behind during their 30-minute plus sparring sessions.
31-year-old Usman is facing off against Tyrone Woodley at the end of March in a showdown for the Welterweight title. Having a record of 14-1, the Nigerian-born American is coming off a resounding victory over Rafael dos Anjos in Las Vegas, last year. Should he win, it will be his proudest achievement since winning The Ultimate Fighter in 2015.
Johnson has had a more chequered career, with plenty to cheer about and plenty to forget. The former XFC Lightweight Champion has taken down huge names like Dustin Poirier and Edson Barboza but is yet to win a UFC title. The 32-year-old’s fight against Justin Gaethje earned him Fight of the Year in 2017 however he was not the victor.
One of the hallmarks of the pair’s sparring sessions is that they get a bit emotional with it. Sure if they are able to simulate a real fight when the tensions are high and the training needs to come through subconsciously to an extent, then this is a great way to do it. They swing wildly, doge masterfully and at times nearly clean each other up. Tensions are close to boiling over at several times throughout the clip.
Check out the cracking footage of the two going at it on the player below.