Kamaru Usman's fan base will only continue to grow as he dominates the UFC Welterweight division. In fact, Usman's greatness has even earned him the adulation of some of the best basketball players in the world–like Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo–after his brilliant display in UFC 261.
Several NBA players were glued to their screens on Saturday to watch the stacked UFC 261 card headlined by Usman's rematch versus Jorge Masvidal for the 170-lb. title.
Usman, of course, ended his rivalry with Masvidal once and for all with a highlight-reel second-round knockout to retain his belt. The Nigerian Nightmare landed a missile of a right hand to put Street Jesus to sleep for the first time in his UFC career.
The Greek Freak, who also comes of African descent like Usman, said the 33-year-old fighter is simply built differently from the rest of the fighters in the division.
This guy @USMAN84kg is different 🔥🇳🇬
— Giannis Antetokounmpo (@Giannis_An34) April 25, 2021
Golden State Warriors forward Eric Paschall also had the same observation about Usman's prowess shown in UFC 261.
Usman different smh!
— Eric Paschall (@epaschall) April 25, 2021
Seems like Paschall's teammate, Kevon Looney, won some money after betting on Usman.
Always bet on Usman #UFC261
— LOONEY (@Loon_Rebel5) April 25, 2021
Injured Cleveland Cavaliers forward Taurean Prince, meanwhile, claimed the money he paid for pay-per-view on UFC 261 was worth it. Can't disagree with him on this one since UFC 261 definitely delivered from the prelims up to the main card.
MONEY WELL SPENT!!! #UFC261
— TP (@taureanprince) April 25, 2021
Atlanta Hawks All-Star Trae Young had the same reaction as the rest of us.
— Trae Young (@TheTraeYoung) April 25, 2021
Michael Carter-Williams of the Orlando Magic, on the other hand, made this interesting remark about Usman's possible GOAT status.
Usman different man. He’s lurking to be one of the best to ever do it
— Michael Carter-Willi (@mcarterwilliams) April 25, 2021
While most combat fans still hail Georges St. Pierre as the best Welterweight in UFC history, no one can deny that Kamaru Usman is already in that conversation as well. The Nigerian-born fighter has become must-see TV, and UFC 261 proved just that.
For sure, more NBA players will be tune in on Kamaru Usman's next title defense.