Shocked Kamaru Usman responds to Du Plessis’ claim he’s ‘the African fighter in the UFC’ ahead of Edwards UFC 286 clash
KAMARU USMAN has responded to Dricus du Plessis’ comments that he’s the real ‘African fighter in the UFC’.
The South African middleweight caused controversy earlier this month by insinuating the titles captured by Nigerian-born American and Usman and Nigerian-born New Zealander Israel Adesanya weren’t true victories for the continent.
GettySouth Africa’s Dricus Du Plessis dubbed himself ‘the African fighter in the UFC’[/caption]
GETTYThe former EFC champion questioned the legitimacy of the titles won by Israel Adesanya and Kamaru Usman being victories for Africa[/caption]
Former welterweight king Usmas has dismissed Du Plessis’ comments ahead of his return to the octagonGETTY
Du Plessis then dubbed himself “The African Fighter” in the UFC, much to the surprise of many.
It didn’t take long for Usman to get wind of the comments, which he found incredibly perplexing.
Speaking at the UFC 286 media day ahead of his rematch with Leon Edwards, he told SunSport: “I understand what he’s trying to say.
“But the one thing I think he’s failing to realize is that just because I go to China and my parents in China and I’m raised in China, that doesn’t make me more Chinese than people from China. It doesn’t make me more Chinese.
“Just because you went over to South Africa and you were raised there, it doesn’t make you African.”
He added: “So I would say to him: ‘Try to be a little bit more careful with what you say and how you say it.’
Usman’s amazement at Du Plessis’ comments partly stemmed from their training with one another back in the day.
He said: “It was funny because I’ve actually trained with the guy. So it’s like, ‘Bruh, you know how I get down.
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“If it’s one of those type of situations, you know how I get down.”
He added: “After that first immediate, [I was] like, ‘Hey are you serious?’ Because it sounded personal.
“Because he took direct shots, he mentioned myself and Israel Adesanya I believe. It was like, ‘Bro, I actually kind of know you.’”
Having had the benefit of training and getting to know the former EFC champion, Usman is adamant there was no malice in Du Plessis’ comments.
He said: “That’s the thing, nowadays, these younger guys, these newer guys that get here, they get up here and they just talk.
“Because they want to appeal to the fans and they want to appeal to the people.
“But try to be more mindful, because 20 years from now, that’s not going to age well.”
He continued: “I think it was just the heat of the moment, he got up there and he just got a big win and he was running off.
“But at the end of the day, the wiser side of me is like, ‘Ahh, okay, I understand what he was trying to say.’
“But bro, that doesn’t make you more African.”
Usman will be back in action this weekend in a welterweight title trilogy fight with Leon Edwards in the main event of UFC 286 in London.