Kamaru Usman has given his side of the story on a wild incident that occurred during a Professional Fighters League event.
Last week, the PFL season opener took place inside Hulu Theater in New York City’s Madison Square Garden. In the main event, Andre Harrison took on Jumabieke Tuerxun. Harrison cruised to a unanimous decision victory. The co-main event saw Lance Palmer submit Bekbulat Magomedov in the second round.
While the event provided plenty of action, there was also a fracas in the crowd. Video surfaced of Kamaru Usman and manager Ali Abdelaziz being involved in a scuffle with fans. Many wondered what sparked the incident.
During a recent appearance on MMAFighting.com‘s “The MMA Hour,” Usman laid out the scene:
“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. 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.’”
Things quickly got ugly when an unruly fan overstepped his boundaries:
“The guy turns around and looks at me and goes, ‘Shut the F up you N-word. What are you gonna do?’ … 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. 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.’”
Kamaru Usman went on to say that security kicked the drunken fans out of the venue and apologized to “The Nigerian Nightmare” and Abdelaziz. Usman and Abdelaziz remained inside the Hulu Theater to watch the event in its entirety. The fighter doesn’t appear to want to press charges, but he will have that discussion with Abdelaziz.