Kamaru Usman looks at his upcoming fight with Colby Covington as a far bigger issue than just two men fighting in a cage.
Instead, Usman says, it’s a symbol of the attitude a portion of America has towards immigrants in their country. An immigrant from Nigeria himself, the welterweight champion points to people such as Covington as being unappreciative towards immigrants in America, as well as holding themselves in higher regard.
“Part of what this next fight symbolizes to me, is the attitude that a lot of people have towards immigrants,” Usman said, speaking on Joe Rogan’s podcast. “A lot of people forget that Americans are immigrants. People are forgetting that, to where people have this attitude, ‘We’re Americans, go back to your country. Go back. This is a free country.’ I always heard that growing up. I always heard that. The more I research it’s like, ‘What? What are you talking about’ This whole attitude. When you walk into a nail shop to get your hands and feet and nails done – who are the majority of the people who run those nail shops? Asians. I’m not saying all of them in the country, but a majority of them are Asians. But there’s a whole bunch of people who look down on them like, ‘I’m not washing your feet. I’m not going to do your nails’. Those people do that because they take pride in that, it helps them. They do that. That’s not a job people want to do it. When you go to hotels, who are the maids who work at most of those hotels? A lot of them are immigrants. We take pride in that because we’re in a better place and want to provide for our families. Those are jobs a lot of people, the so-called ‘Americans,’ the whole Colby Covington persona are like, ‘I’m above that’.
“That’s the persona. But at the same time people want to cry, ‘They’re talking our jobs, let’s build a wall, let’s keep them out, they’re taking our jobs.’ No, they’re providing, they’re helping this country get to its height. The fact you can come here and have someone do your nails, have someone clean your house, someone wash your car, someone do all this for you, is part of what makes America so great. One of the greatest nations in the world. The fact they want to build a wall, they want to keep these people out, ‘you can’t come here, you can’t bring your culture.’ It saddens me and it upsets me. Its part of when this fight happens, this fight represents for me, because I feel like this is the attitude this young man has. He’s entitled to, ‘I should be UFC champ, you’re a soy boy, you can’t handle me boy.’ That’s his attitude, ‘You can’t do this boy.’ First of all, who’s your boy? I’m a grown ass man. Don’t fucking talk to me like that. That’s the attitude he has.
“He’s entitled to this: ‘I should be the champion, I’m American.’ Bro, we’re all American here. This fight is greater than just a guy who is talking shit. This fight means a lot to me. So when I get the chance to put my hands on this guy, just know that it’s the wrath of every immigrant in this country that I’m going to put on him.”