Odell Beckham Jr. may be headed to Baltimore when the 2023 NFL season starts, but for now, he’s hanging out in Miami, Fla., with former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman.
Videos started popping up yesterday (Thurs., July 20, 2023), showing the record-breaking wide receiver getting a good sweat on with “Nigerian Nightmare” at The Goat Shed Academy. Usman (wearing a long neoprene sleeve on his right leg) can be seen holding the pads for Odell, who works some crosses, jabs and hooks.
There could be more footage from the meeting coming: filmmaker, Dismayne, teased that the session was part of a larger content piece that’d show Usman and Beckham Jr. spending, “a day in each other’s shoes.”
“OBJ” is no stranger to the UFC world. He was photographed with Usman at an NFL game last season. He’s popped up numerous times at events and afterparties with the likes of Israel Adesanya and Conor McGregor. He was ride-or-die with Adesanya coming into “The Last Stylebender’s” third fight against Alex Pereira at UFC 287. And he was at that fateful Miami Heat playoff game and post-event VIP party with the aforementioned McGregor.
Beckham Jr. even credits McGregor for giving him the last-second inspiration he needed to become the fastest player to reach 3,500 receiving yards in the NFL back in 2016. The old record was 37 games. Beckham Jr. did it in 36 after watching “The Notorious” blitz Eddie Alvarez to become double-champ at UFC 205.
Kamaru Usman holding pads for NFL receiver Odell Beckham Jr. at the Goat Shed in Miami pic.twitter.com/SXnuKCdSxh— MMA Mania (@mmamania) July 20, 2023
“I set the bar high for myself — I kind of had some late inspiration,” Beckham Jr. said at the time. “I went to the UFC fight and I went there to watch McGregor and just a guy who is very strong in his beliefs and sure enough, he backs it up every time. Just sitting there watching him do his thing gave me more motivation ... I usually go to things like that for inspiration. I like seeing guys in their atmosphere.”
Now, Beckham Jr. is soaking up that inspiration in the gym alongside some of the top fighters in the world. Let’s see how that transfers into his highly anticipated NFL season with the Baltimore Ravens.