Sodiq Yusuff was sitting at the gym a couple months ago, watching his teammates, when his coach told him to go away and broaden his interests.
At that point, the two slipped discs in Yusuff’s back were so on fire, he couldn’t sit or stand for long without severe pain. He had been in the gym not because he could train, but because it’s what he knows.
“You’ve been in jail so long, you’re used to it,” Yusuff, 29, joked.
Go learn some skills, his coach told him. The coach wasn’t the only one with that advice. His manager knew him as much for his sense of humor as fighting. What if he showed that side himself to the rest of the world?
The result was an Unprofessional Brokendown. It is a parody on the previews flooding the internet prior to MMA fight cards. Instead of doing a technical breakdown or giving his gambling picks, he took a look at the names and winged it.
“I’m going to pretend I didn’t just find out about this card an hour ago and jump straight into it,” Yusuff deadpanned in his first breakdown. “It’s been a fire promotion from the card, and I’m ready to find out why.”
One of the best cards of the year this weekend, so I’m back with another Unprofessional Breakdown. pic.twitter.com/5VCt1vKFCb
— Sodiq Yusuff (@Super_Sodiq) February 1, 2023
The humor, of course, was in the absurdity of his statement. The card was UFC Vegas 68, which was headlined by Derrick Lewis and Serghei Spivac and kicked off at 10:00 p.m. ET. The majority of the talent were unknown to UFC’s core audiences and it was not promoted very much. UFC President Dana White had pushed his Power Slap League with far more fervor.
Yusuff’s dry delivery, comedy timing and sharp wit make the video an excellent commentary on today’s UFC cards. Like all good comedy, it was based in truth. But his explanations were also off the wall.
He’d done his breakdowns many times before he turned a camera on.
” When people don’t get to know you and your UFC fighter status, they just want to talk about fighting,” said he. “And I don’t want to discuss fighting with my buddies.
” They don’t even know what the heck is going on. They’ll pull out their phones, and I’m doing that in real life what I do on those videos.”
Yusuff’s content tanked on YouTube, his planned outlet. It took off on Twitter though, which is where MMA journalists and observers often complain about the decline in star power and meaningful fights.
” “I’ll take that, because it’s getting my the right type of notoriety,” said he.
Even better, it’s not pissing off his employer. Yusuff’s jokey approach to UFC content could be misinterpreted as shade. When promotion staffers called him after the Vegas 68 breakdown, he expected an earful.
” I thought they would be mad at me,” he stated. I can’t win before next week’s .”
But now, Yusuff is in full swing as a content creator. He recently released another breakdown for UFC 284 card, an event far richer in stature despite a lack of promotional effort detected by its headliner, Islam Makhachev, and White’s apparent inability to remember the lightweight champ’s name.
Yusuff had the opportunity to pick his main event opponent, Makhachev against Volkanovski (in a fight for Russia’s lightweight title).
Usually Yusuff would choose Volkanovski. Makhachev is hiding a weapon.
“If you’re making your debut, and they’re putting you up against a Muslim guy, and his last name has, like, 20 consonants in it, it’s going to be a rough day,” he joked. “[Makhachev vs. Yusuff is] Offset, since Islam has the mustache-free beard. The beard with no mustache beats the consonants.”
After seconds of grueling research I am here with another Unprofessional Breakdown of this weekends PPV card #UFC284 pic.twitter.com/twQiidLaOZ
— Sodiq Yusuff (@Super_Sodiq) February 6, 2023
Yusuff was correctly selected. Makhachev unanimously outpointed Volkanovski to retain the lightweight title. It was actually one of two things he did correctly. But that really wasn’t the point.
The Nigerian-born fighter has been taking web design and acting classes in order to expand his skills. He will release breaking downs of every fight card until the fight comes up, though he isn’t sure when.
Keith Lee is Yusuff’s hero. He is the example of what you can do when your passions are shared with the rest of the world.
” My friends and family know that this is my natural job,” Yusuff stated. Although I fight fear, in real life, my jokes are mostly .”
After UFC 284, the promotion’s event schedule rolls on with UFC Vegas 69, headlined by a flyweight matchup between one-time title challenger Taila Santos and Erin Blanchfield. It might set the bar for least-important card of the year.
It’ll give Yusuff plenty of ammunition.
“No, it’s the best UFC card,” he laughs.