Khama Worthy took a fight against the highly-touted Devonte Smith on four days’ notice at UFC 241 and kicked down the door with a first-round knockout.
Anaheim, CA – Khama Worthy fought just three weeks ago and became the second replacement opponent for Devonte Smith just four days prior to UFC 241. While they are friends and former training partners, Worthy made his debut in a huge way with a first-round knockout.
“It’s nuts. People always say if you push and push and push and push and push for something, it’ll actually happen, but I’ve been pushing at this for a long time. I’ve hit a lot of bumps in the road, a lot of trip-ups, injuries, all that stuff, all kinds of insanity. Now I’m right where I’m supposed to be. It’s nuts. I couldn’t arrange this better. I fought three weeks ago. I took this fight on four days’ notice. This is some story s**t. They’ll make a movie about this.”
It wasn’t the perfect scenario for Worthy as far as signing with the UFC goes. He was still recovering from his last fight, and he would have to fight a friend to make that huge step in his career. Despite those factors, when the UFC calls, you say yes, no matter what.
“I was thinking, ‘I have an 11-month-old, I have a family, I have a gym that I own. But I’m just getting to the UFC. My manager said, ‘They’ll give you a four-fight contract.’ I was like, ‘Oh s**t, that’s smooth, perfect.’ I’ll get into the UFC. I’m not one who likes to lose. From checkers to fighting, anything. I was still going to go out there and do my best, but I was still banged up. I was still jacked up from three weeks ago. I went to the third round, so I got knicked and knacked and stuff. But it was just, go in there and just do the best you can do. And it was weird, fighting my friend and someone I’ve trained with before, and someone people were scared of. People didn’t want to take this fight with him. There were a lot of guys hiding behind the bushes and s**t when he was calling them out. Like he’s a boogeyman. I’m not afraid of anyone and even though he’s my boy, I gotta thank him for taking this fight because this changed my life for my family. He could’ve said no. A lot of guys would’ve said, ‘I’m cool, never mind.’ And he could’ve said that. But he took the fight knowing it was a dangerous fight and that we had trained together before and that I’m known for knocking motherf***ers out, as we both like to do. If you count my losses, I’ve been finished all six times so I have a really high finish rate. So when I go in there, I’m pulling the grenade and it’s either me or you and I’ve gotten better over time.”
A finish like that, under those circumstances, had Performance of the Night written all over it. $50,000 makes a huge difference for a debuting fighter like Worthy, and he ended up taking home the bonus.
“Like I said, I own a gym and stuff. It would just make life a lot smoother for the family. It would just put me in the right direction. I’m getting 50 G’s. I’m already positively thinking. Dana! You know you want to give me 100 G’s. You said I can win performance of the night and knockout of the night. I took that fight on four days’ notice. This is my second fight in three weeks, my second knockout. That’s knockout of the night and performance of the night. 100 G’s Dana. You’re the man, Dana. I’m sending this message to you. I want to meet you too.”
Khama Worthy let his personality shine on fight week, and got to rub shoulders with some of the big names of the sport. Overall, it was a great, albeit short, fight week for Worthy.
“The big-name fighters are super super cool. Like I met DC [Daniel Cormier] here my first day in the sauna and I was like, ‘Yeah man, I’m fighting one of my buddies.’ And he was like, ‘F**k that, you have to get your money!’ He and his team were super cool. I pulled out Sweet Sweat and he told me to put it away because it gave him bad memories of cutting extra weight. So everyone I met was super super cool. The UFC staff was freaking amazing, just making me feel like really welcome and they were really appreciative of me taking a fight on short notice. It was just like good vibes. No negative vibes at all. It was amazing, it was nuts.”
Check out the rest of Khama Worthy’s UFC 241 post-fight scrum above!