Sodiq Yusuff was very open about supporting his family back in Nigeria during fight week ahead of UFC Philadelphia, but he feels no added pressure to win despite their situation.
Philadelphia, PA — Coming out of UFC Philadelphia, Sodiq Yusuff wasn’t super excited about his win over Sheymon Moraes. Fact is, ‘Super’ Sodiq was hoping for a stoppage over the Brazilian featherweight, but it didn’t come. “I wanted more of a definitive finish,” Yusuff said of his win Saturday night at the Wells Fargo arena, speaking to reporters including Cageside Press.
However, he always understood that going the distance could be in the cards. “Like I said before the fight, if it wasn’t a first round finish, it was going to be a three-round war.” That’s exactly what it was in the end.
Following the fight, Sodiq made what many considered a questionable callout: Kron Gracie. The Gracie family name is entrenched in the sport of MMA, and Kron is a newcomer to the UFC, but has been in the sport longer, and the grappling world well before that.
Sodiq explained the thought process behind the callout backstage in Philly. “I just beat a guy that’s at the top of his skill set in his traditional martial art. And the best person in jiu-jitsu that we have right now is Kron. So if I could get both martial arts out of the way, I’ll look for the best boxer in my division too. You know, one at a time, going down the list.” Yusuff’s idea is that he knock off top contenders in each discipline, one by one. Which could gain him some prestige. Or notoriety at least. “If I could beat Kron, that’s just going to be another feather in my cap on the way to being the best in the world.”
With “a couple of aches and pains” following the fight with Moraes, Yusuff isn’t sure when he wants to return just yet. When he does, he’ll continue to support his family back in Nigeria — but that is not something, he told Cageside Press, that he considers pressure.
“That’s no pressure. That’s no pressure at all. It’s different. Not to insult Americans at all, but you guy’s mindset and our mindset is completely different,” he said when asked if it was more important to go out and win given he was supporting his family. “That’s not pressure. My family gave me everything. My mom gave me everything. My dad gave me everything. That’s not added pressure to provide for them. You’re paying what you owe. Without them, I’d be nothing. That’s not pressure at all, that’s my job.”
“When I have my kid, I’ll be the best father in the world so my kid will look at me that way too,” he added. “I’d cut my arm off for my family. That’s nothing for us, man. That’s how I was raised. If you raise a child and your child don’t feel that way about you, you failed along the way.”
Watch the full UFC Philadelphia (UFC on ESPN 2) post-fight press scrum with Sodiq Yusuff above!