Kamaru Usman had his first successful title defense this past Saturday. After a lot of back-and-forth trash talk with his opponent Colby Covington, Usman was able to wither the early storm and get the finish. The newly retired, Ben Askren, did a breakdown of Usman’s post fight Octagon interview and found some fallacies in it.
As the interview with Joe Rogan began, Usman denied being under any kind of pressure from Colby’s trash talk. However, just a while later he would go on to say that the early blunders in the fight were attributed to his lack of concentration. And this lack of concentration stemmed from Colby’s pre-fight trash talk.
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“The first question to [Usman] is, ‘over the past X amount of months since this fight’s been signed, did Colby’s trash talk get to you at all,’” Askren said in a video posted to his social media channels. “[Usman] essentially answers, ‘no it did not, I am the most mentally tough guy in this division.’ Something to that effect.
“Then, two questions later, they ask some question — I should probably search this — about why Colby was getting the better of him early on. [Usman] said something like like ‘I got too emotional.’”
Ben believed that if Usman continued with this manner of switching stances, then the public would not relate with him. Consequently, he wouldn’t be able to gather a lot of fan following.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” Askren said. “You just tried to say in the first question that you don’t get shook at all and it didn’t bother you, and then two questions later you admit that you got emotional and it did bother you. It’s really simple. People don’t want to be lied to. They don’t want to be lied to! People want genuineness.”
Ben then explained how the welterweight champ could have prevented this mistake from happening.
Listen, he would have came off a whole lot better if he would have said something really simple like ‘man, it was annoying, it bothered me, and it felt so good to punch that dude in the face, oh baby,’” Askren said. “People would have loved it! Everyone can relate to someone that’s been in there life that annoyed the s**t out of them, for whatever reason it is. Most people don’t get to punch that guy in the face on national TV. [Usman] got the opportunity to, but then he failed to acknowledge that that felt really good and that the trash talk did bother him.
“Within two questions, he lied about it,” Askren continued. “Then he pretty much admitted he was lying. That fakeness, that lack of genuineness, is what people can feel. Even if they can’t put it into words like I’m putting it into words for you, they feel it. That’s why they can’t relate to him. That’s why he’s not capturing the hearts and minds of fans.
“If he would have said ‘guys, he bugged the shit out of me, and that felt so good to punch him in the face. Oh my God, it felt good’… dude, they would have loved it. They would have loved it! People would have went nuts for that. But he didn’t. He lied to the people. The people felt it.”