WEDNESDAY NEWS DIGEST 3/6: Henri Hooft on Kamaru Usman’s rise to championship, GSP leaves drug testing pool, and more

By Michael Hiscoe, Managing Editor

Mar 2, 2019; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Kamaru Usman (blue gloves) and Tyron Woodley (red gloves) during UFC 235 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports


Coach Henri Hooft is happy to share in the credit for Kamru Usman’s dominant win over Tyron Woodley to become UFC welterweight champion, but he knows his student put in the work and really accomplished this on his own. Speaking to Luke Thomas on “The MMA Hour” this week, Hooft detailed just how far Usman has come lately.

“His fight IQ is so high that, as a coach, you don’t really need to do a lot,” Hoof said. “And what he did the last couple of years with his career and now with the belt, that’s something that he really did by himself. He’s a different guy.”

Usman won every round from Woodley in their UFC 235 fight, securing several 10-8 rounds on the judges’ scorecards. There was little in the way of dramatics as the fight was never close. It was a pure dismantling of a legitimate champion. So what was it that allowed Usman to surpass his competition so definitively, so quickly?

“Discipline. “Just discipline in anything, everything he does. From training to family to thinking to everything — discipline.

Usman’s discipline may be in question after he instigated a skirmish in a casino buffet line with Colby Covington over the weekend, but his results in the cage speak for themselves.

It’s for real

If anyone didn’t take Georges St-Pierre’s recent retirement announcement seriously, he put another nail in the coffin of his career by removing himself from the USADA testing pool. GSP will no longer be tested as part of UFC’s anti-doping policy, meaning that if he wants to return to the cage, he’ll have to submit to six month’s worth of testing beforehand.

ESPN’s Brett Okamoto was first to report the news.  St-Pierre announced his retirement at a Montreal press conference last month.

In case you missed it

HYDEN BLOG: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly from UFC 235

Wednesday Notebook

-Anthony Johnson said on the “Into the Weeds” podcast that the only thing that would get him out of retirement is a fight with Jon Jones at heavyweight.

-UFC 235 prelims did 1.48 million viewers on ESPN Saturday night. This is up slightly from 1.39 million viewers for the UFC 234 prelims last month.

Fight Announcements

-Benson Henderson vs. Adam Piccolotti and Phil Davis vs. Liam McGeary are booked for UFC 220 on April 27 from San Jose.

-Aleksei Oleinik vs. Walt Harris is set for UFC Ottawa on May 4.

-Jose Aldo vs. Alex Volkanovski will take place at UFC 237 on May 11 from Brazil.


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