On the final edition of The MMA Hour, Kamaru Usman broke down the chaotic brawl that erupted while he and manager Ali Abdel-Aziz attended PFL 1 at the Hulu Theater At Madison Square Garden.
“A bunch of drunk fans were coming into the auditorium from the back, because the way the event was set up it was like an auditorium style,” Usman said. “You come in with everyone’s back towards you and you’re looking down towards the cage, so we go out to get some water to drink, we’re thirsty, so we’re coming back in, and while we’re coming in all of a sudden the national anthem’s playing.
“We stop and I’m like, ‘Hey, hey, hey, stop, we don’t want to walk through the crowd while the national anthem’s playing so let’s let this thing finish up.’
Usman and Abdel-Aziz were standing at the top of the stairs, while someone who allegedly was kneeling during the anthem began shouting at the duo. Usman attempted to cool the situation, but would end up getting a hateful slur thrown at him.
“The guy turns around and looks at me and goes, ‘Shut the F up you N-word. What are you gonna do?”
Usman, who has not fought unless in training or a cage since middle school, attempted to speak to the man following the anthem, and the person in question would once again call him the N-word.
“At this point I’m like, okay this dude is clearly drunk and he’s serious and he’s right in my face, so I’m like, ‘Back up, you’re in my space,’” Usman said. “And the guy goes, ‘You ain’t going to do nothing, what do you think? You’re f’ing tough?’ I think he’s going to swing on me because he’s more and more aggressive so I push him off me and I’m like, ‘Bro, back up.’
“Of course, my manager’s not happy with the situation and then a guy grabs him while he’s trying to get near me, towards me, and the guy grabs him, and the guy is still coming towards me so I push him off.”
“I turn around for us to leave and all of a sudden while my back is turned, I get hit in the back,” Usman continued.
“Boom. Then it’s like three of them jump on Ali and then three of them jump on me and now it’s like I gotta defend myself. I’m in self defense mode and I’m trying to draw one guy off me and it’s all just a crazy commotion, guys are trying to jump on — and the whole time, I couldn’t believe the situation was happening. There was one point I had a smile on my face because I’m like, ‘That just happened to me.’”
According to Usman, security kicked the offenders out and offered a full apology to Abdel-Aziz and himself.
An earlier report from FIGHT SPORTS, featured an error in its reporting that Usman was the one kneeling for the anthem and had been retracted from the story.
Report: MMA Fighting