Kamaru Usman After UFC 245 Win Over Colby Covington: ‘I Am What It Means To Be An American’
In the lead up to UFC 245, Kamaru Usman sat quietly by when Colby Covington ripped a page out of Donald Trump’s playbook and claimed that the Nigerian born fighter was born in Dallas, Texas. On Saturday night, after he scored a fifth-round knockout win to retain his UFC welterweight title, Usman broke his silence on the subject.
“Let’s be honest,” Usman said at the UFC 245 post-fight press conference. “I’ve said it time and time again: I’m more American than him. I am what it means to be an American. I’m an immigrant that come here and work my ass off tirelessly to get to the top, and I’m still prevailing. And so that’s what it means to be an American. It’s not necessarily just because you’re born here, you feel privileged is what it means to be an American. No. I told you none of these guys work harder than me. That’s what it means to be an American. I work my ass off, and I’m going to continue to work my ass off and obviously with good integrity.”
“I don’t have to walk around like a punk, and say these certain things that are going to abuse the whole country or abuse the whole world and talk about people and religions — things like that. I don’t have to. I’m going to walk with integrity because at the end of the day, I want everyone that’s watching me, every eye that’s on me, to look at me and say, ‘You know what, that’s what we want to be, that’s the example that we like.’ And so, I’m more American than him. So, when they were chanting ‘USA,’ you damn sure better believe that was because of me.”
Usman’s matchup against Covington hinged on the final five minutes of the bout. One judge had Covington ahead 39-37, another had Usman leading by a score of 39-27, while the last judge had the contest tied at 38-38. The champion, who was defending the title he took from Tyron Woodley in March, for the first time, removed the judges from the equation with a knockout at 4:10 of the final stanza. The bout took home “Fight of the Night” honors for UFC 245, which took place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Covington did argue the stoppage, but referee Marc Goddard ignored the pleas of the vanquished fighter.
Usman, who broke Covington’s jaw in the third round, also responded to claims that Covington’s trash-talk would result in an emotional fight from the champion.
“I heard all week, all month, since the fight got signed. ‘Colby is in his head, Colby this, Colby that, he’s gonna gas out, he’s gonna fight emotional,’” said Usman.“The reason why I’m the best in the world is my mind is stronger than everyone in this division.”