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Kamaru Usman: I don’t regret ‘30 percent’ comment, ‘I spoke from the heart’

Kamaru Usman talks about his controversial statements after defeating Emil Meek in January, which he admits still affects him to this day.

Top-ten welterweight Kamaru Usman made some controversial statements during his post-fight Octagon interview after fighting Emil Meek in St. Louis last January. “The Nigerian Nightmare” specifically stated that he was only at “30 percent” during his fight, but still managed to pick up a victory.

UFC president Dana White was not pleased with the interview, thinking that Usman was bragging about giving only 30% of his efforts. Usman, however, defended himself by explaining that he was referring to his health status coming into the fight.

During Monday’s episode of The MMA Hour, Usman once again talked about this interview, where he explained his reasons behind his post-fight statements.

“I don’t regret saying it because I spoke from my heart,” Usman said (via MMA Fighting). “When you get done with the fight, especially that fight because there was a lot of frustrating things happening that led up to that fight.”

“(Meek) comes in the UFC, he’s riding a 1-0 decision, and you’re giving him to a top-15 guy like myself because nobody else above me wants to fight with me. So that itself already irked me, irritated me, and then I couldn’t get anybody else.”

Usman admits that White’s misunderstanding of his post-fight comments greatly affected him, especially after receiving some backlash from fans as well.

“I meant I literally was maybe 30-percent of my abilities, which is what I stated, but of course, when you have a president that is so powerful like Dana White and he goes out in the media and says what he says, everyone just jumps on it,” Usman said. “I swear if Dana says that, ‘You know what? An earthquake is going to happen tomorrow,’ everyone’s going to jump on it, ‘Oh, an earthquake’s going to happen tomorrow.’ That’s just the way that these UFC fans are.”

“So once Dana said that it was just the backlash of it and whatnot, but what I meant to say was I was at 30-percent health. Dana took it the wrong way, so fans took it the wrong way.”

Usman is currently scheduled to headline the UFC’s Fight Night event in Chile on May 19th against Santiago Ponzinibbio.