Kamaru Usman appears to be riding high on confidence as he heads into a welterweight title against Tyron Woodley on Saturday night at UFC 235, but the champion believes that the challenger is bluffing in an attempt to hide his nerves.
“He says a lot of stuff and sometimes when people talk too much, they’re trying to reassure themselves,” Woodley told reporters at a media gathering earlier this week.
“He says a lot of stuff and sometimes when people talk too much, they’re trying to reassure themselves. You haven’t heard me talk about Usman.”
Usman is currently unbeaten in his nine UFC outing to date, but heading into his sixth title bout in a row, Woodley has plenty of experience of big-fight build-ups and believes that his rival is feeling the pressure, despite what he might be saying in public.
“I looked at his feed, ‘18 days, 17 days,’ like, I’m working,” Woodley said. “I’m planning my [rap album] release party, I’m training, I’m getting my game plan down. I don’t have to talk a lot because I’ve done it already. I’ve done it, I’m not going to stop doing it, and he just has not shown me that he provides the recipe or the cure to beating me that everyone else supposedly has.
“He sounds so confident and I know you all want me to do the LL Cool J impersonation, but he sounds so cool that when people are doing it, they’re nervous.”