UFC welterweight contender and TUF 21 winner Kamaru Usman has won all six of his fights in the UFC so far, and is coming off a huge KO win over Sergio Moraes. So why isn’t he pushed more by the organization? In an interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, Usman said that by process of elimination, his lack of a marketing push can only come down to one thing - that he’s from Nigeria (transcribed by MMA Mania):
“I’ve been ready for that. I don’t know if they think, ‘Well, he’s from Nigeria and we haven't really broken into that market yet, so we can’t really sell a lot of fights there or we don’t have a TV contract there. So what’s the point of pushing a guy that’s from that area in Africa.’”
“I’d like to think that’s what it is because it can’t be anything else. You can’t say that I don’t have the skills, you can’t say that. I have the skills. You can’t say I don’t have the confidence, because I have that. You can’t say I don’t have the belief, because I have that.
“I’m not the ugliest guy in the world. It’s not that I’m not marketable. I mean, come on, it makes no sense as to why they are not doing except for, ‘Oh well we haven’t broken into Africa, so there is no point in pushing someone from there.’”
Usman (11-1, 6-0 UFC) moved to the United States when he was five years old, but it doesn’t seem to matter. He is currently ranked at number 11 at 170 pounds, and is very interested in a bout with former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos next.