'I’m More American Than Him,' Says Nigerian UFC Champion Kamaru Usman After Crushing MAGA-Supporting Opponent
Ahead of the match, Usman promised to make his opponent feel "the wrath of every immigrant in this country," and he delivered.
On Saturday, Nigerian-born fighter Kamaru Usman, also known as "The Nigerian Nightmare," won the the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) welterweight title after he dealt a crushing blow to his MAGA-supporting opponent Colby Covington.
Covington, an over-confident Trump devotee, went as far as to tell the president that he would deliver the champion belt to the White House in his honor. He sported the infamous red cap to press appearances and on the day of the match, and even poked fun at Usman's Nigerian heritage, asking "What has [Usman's] family ever done for America beside serve in the Federal penitentiary?" Unsurprisingly, the fighter garnered the full support of the president and his white supremacist following.
Usman, however, got both the last word and the last blow—which he delivered directly to Covington's jaw—during the UFC 245 match. Following his knockout win at the 4:10 mark of the fifth round, Usman sat down for a post-fight interview, in which he addressed Covington's bigoted behavior as well as the white nationalists in attendance who chanted "USA! USA!" as his opponent walked into the ring. Usman stated that the cheers were actually meant for him, as he was the one who displayed what it meant to be a real American:
Let's be honest. 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 came here and worked my ass off tirelessly to get to the top, and I'm still prevailing. 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.
Ahead of the game, Usman stated in an interview that his intention once he was in the ring with Covington, was to make him feel "the wrath of every immigrant" in the US during the fight.
Covington—who has been hilariously nicknamed "The Great White Nope" by The Root's Michael Harriot—was of course a sore loser and unable to accept his loss. He blamed referees, despite the evidence of his defeat literally showing on his face (his jaw was wired shut after the fight). The white nationalist fighter has also been the internet's "punching bag" since he was served his "L." Check out some humorous responses below, and congrats again to The Nigerian Nightmare for displaying poise and securing his glorious win.