UFC on ESPN 12: Khama Worthy Explains How a Georges St. Pierre Billboard Sparked Interest in MMA

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The oddsmakers had Khama Worthy the underdog against Luis “Violent Bob Ross” Pena this past weekend at UFC on ESPN 12.

Worthy proved the oddsmakers wrong. And while most casual observers might have given Pena the edge on the ground, Worthy proved them wrong as well. Thanks to a guillotine choke that ended Pena’s night early.

Speaking backstage to media outlets including Cageside Press following his win, Worthy jokingly gave his message to the bookies.

“Money. Cardi B. Money, they throwing money in the air. People making money off me man? I’m cool with it,” he exclaimed. “I told everyone, I told my older brothers that ‘yo bet like two grand on me.’ I’m like ‘bet on me dude.’ I’m like, ‘I’m not I’m not freaking losing this fight.’ I have a family. I own a gym right now. Like sh*t, the whole world might get shut down again so I might never have enough money, so I need to make as much money as possible. So if I’m in there fighting, Imma fight to my death, so the oddsmakers are stupid, obviously.”

Worthy’s journey to the UFC has been anything but traditional. In his early 20s, he’d found work as a model. Then transitioned to a sport where he’d be getting hit in the face. Luckily, he doesn’t get hit too often. “I don’t got a lot of scar tissue. I don’t like getting hit,” he admitted.

During his modelling days, Worthy was just trying to stay in shape. “I was always at the gym, kicking bags and stuff.” One of the older guys at the gym asked if he’d ever though of doing MMA. “And I’ve done traditional martial arts and stuff with my father and stuff, but I didn’t want to be breaking boards and sh*t like that. So I didn’t really get into it. But I watched and the guy was like, ‘you ever heard of MMA?’ And I was like, ‘No, what the heck is that?’ And I walked outside and there’s a billboard for Georges St. Pierre. It’s huge. I’m in downtown New York. I’m like, ‘What the heck’ and I go to the video store and I buy like a hundred dollars worth of King of the Cage videos and it’s all like Urijah Faber stuff. And I watch them and I’m just blown away.”

The next day, Worthy informed his boss that he’d be moving back home. The idea, to make the jump to MMA. He even came close to training with Phil Nurse, who coached GSP in Muay Thai. Now, Worthy is a gym owner, and UFC fighter, boasting a 16-6 record following UFC on ESPN 12. Quite the journey, and it’s really just getting started.

Watch the full UFC on ESPN 12 post-fight press scrum with Khama Worthy above.

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