If you watched Kamaru Usman defeat Emil Meek at UFC St. Louis in January, you’ll probably recall his controversial post-fight interview, during which he claimed he’d fought (and won) with just 30 percent of his ability.
Shortly after Usman made this remark, he was hit by a tidal wave of backlash—including a few critical comments from UFC President Dana White.
“It’s one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard somebody say, and you’re getting booed out of the arena on top of it,” White said. “I don’t know. We’ll see what’s next for him.”
On Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour, Usman argued that, had White not criticized him, the backlash he received for this 30 percent comment probably wouldn’t have been so severe.
“I meant I literally was maybe 30 percent of my abilities, which is what I stated, but of course, when you have a president that is so powerful like Dana White and he goes out in the media and says what he says, everyone just jumps on it,” Usman said (h/t MMAFighting). “I swear if Dana says that, ‘You know what? An earthquake is going to happen tomorrow,’ everyone’s going to jump on it, ‘Oh, an earthquake’s going to happen tomorrow.’ That’s just the way that these UFC fans are.”
“So once Dana said that, it was just the backlash of it and whatnot, but what I meant to say was I was at 30-percent health. Dana took it the wrong way, so fans took it the wrong way.”
Whatever the case, Usman stands by his comment, as he was just speaking from the heart.
“I am what I am, I don’t regret anything,” he said. “There’s a blessing in everything that happens to us. Yes, of course, it’s getting kind of old, because every time you look at one of my pictures, comments or anything like that, all fans seem to want to talk about is 30 percent, 30 percent, 30 percent. So after that Dana said, ‘Will you go 60 percent next time?’ He can expect me to go way more than 30 percent this next fight, that’s for sure.”
What did you think of Kamaru Usman’s post-fight interview at UFC St. Louis?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/28/2018.