Kamaru Usman extended his division-best seven-fight win streak with a dominant victory over Emil Meek at UFC St. Louis, then called out top-ranked welterweight Colby Covington for a No. 1 contender match in his post-fight interview. However, UFC president Dana White was not among those impressed by “The Nigerian Nightmare.”
“I didn’t love that fight, by the way,” White said Sunday on the FOX Sports 1 post-fight show. “Yeah, he’s a tough guy. Yeah, he can impose his will. But then you don’t jump up and start talking smack like you just knocked somebody or something, and say you only went 30 percent. So what’s that mean? What if you’re on a pay-per-view, you do 60 percent? I mean, 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.”
Usman (12-1) stated in his UFC St. Louis post-fight interview that he fought Meek “sitting at about 30 percent,” comments which did not sit well with White.
Still, Usman was an overwhelming force at UFC St. Louis, dominating Meek with a tenacious wrestling attack en route to sweeping the judges’ scorecards with a 30-27 unanimous decision. The win moved Usman to 7-0 under the UFC umbrella, inching the TUF 21 winner closer to a showdown for the UFC welterweight title.
Usman targeted Covington in the aftermath of his performance, taking aim at the man currently ranked No. 3 on the UFC’s media-generated welterweight rankings. White said on FOX Sports 1 that former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos was “obviously” the next contender for Tyron Woodley’s welterweight belt, which would mean that Covington will likely need to fight again to secure pole position in the UFC’s 170-pound ladder.
White, however, was noncommittal about Usman’s request.
“I don’t know,” White said. “We’ll see what’s next for him.”
Update: Usman explained his speech on Twitter after the fight.
Let me clear something up since some didn’t understand my post fight interview. What I meant was that I came into the fight at 30% health. I could’ve pulled out but I chose 2 stay the course & give @emilvalhalla his chance @ a top 10 guy. I fight anyone, anytime even at 30%.— KAMARU USMAN (@USMAN84kg) January 15, 2018
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