Kamaru Usman Blasts Emil Meek for Even Suggesting That He Ever Tried to Duck Him

Kamaru Usman gets brutally honest talking about his opponent on Sunday night

Kamaru Usman knows how the game is played with it comes to opponents trying to land a big fight.

While he’s been anxiously awaiting his opportunity to face at top 10 ranked fighter, Usman has been dealt a long list of tough opponents but none that will get him any closer towards his ultimate goal of a title shot by the end of 2018.

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Unfortunately his request has fallen on deaf ears and the UFC instead moved to book him for a fight against Norwegian welterweight Emil Meek at the 2017 year end card on Dec. 30.

Meek was eventually pulled from the card due to visa issues and Usman decided to move onto a bigger fish as the UFC was attempting to put together a main event fight for him against Colby Covington in St. Louis. With his attention turned towards a higher ranked opponent, Meek got his visa issues fixed, which meant he could once again pursue the fight with Usman.

By this point, Usman had moved on but Meek went on the attack to try to land the matchup he was originally promised before visa issues nixed him from the UFC 219 card last December. Sadly, Usman didn’t end up getting the fight he wanted either so when the UFC came calling with Meek as his opponent once again, he happily accepted but this time with a point to prove when the step into the Octagon together.

“What the hell do I have to be afraid of?” Usman said in response to Meek. “I’ve beaten better opposition that you. I’ve beat tougher guys that you. You don’t really pose that much of a threat at all. But I understand the game. I know he understands he doesn’t deserve this fight. He has one fight in the UFC that ended in a decision so you’re trying to say I’m ducking you?

“That kind of rubbed me the wrong way so when they got back to me and said no one else would take the fight, I said rebook the fight and let me put a whooping on this guy.”

Usman can’t say that he’s been all that impressed by what he’s seen from Meek outside of his lightning quick knockout against submission specialist Rousimar Palhares that earned him the contract with the UFC in the first place.

Still, Usman promises that while Meek wasn’t his first choice, he’s put all his attention on this fight to prove that there are levels to mixed martial arts and the 29-year old Norwegian was never really ready for this challenge.

“If I perform, I can win the fight anywhere. I can do what I want, when I want in the fight,” Usman said. “If I want to stay in the brawl, I can beat him that way. If I want to take him down, ground and pound and beat his face in, I can do that. That’s why I say a lot of times in my fight, I dictate whatever happens. I know he’s a dangerous guy. I’m not underestimating him. I take him seriously. I take them all seriously.

“I treat every fight like I’m fighting for the title, which is why I train the way I do and then perform the way I do.”

Assuming everything goes to plan for Usman on Sunday night, then he already has plans for his next opponent with a request to the UFC to match him up against Covington as coaches on the newest season of “The Ultimate Fighter”.

“Colby Covington and I needs to happen now. You’ll always have two top wrestlers that are bound to clash. It’s bound to happen and it’s going to happen. That’s the fight that needs to happen,” Usman said.

“They still need coaches for the next TUF, let’s do that. Then they can really see the personalities of both of us. I think that’s something that needs to happen. Me and Colby Covington coach TUF and then at the end of the season we fight and I finally get my hands on him.”

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.

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