An American UFC fighter appeared to motivate himself by pretending that his opponent was racist
- Alonzo Menifield dominated his light heavyweight UFC match Saturday.
- The American then told Insider and other reporters he visualized his opponent calling him a monkey.
LAS VEGAS — American UFC fighter Alonzo Menifield appeared to motivate himself by pretending that his opponent was racist.
The 34-year-old light heavyweight pounded his UFC opponent Askar Mozharov into smithereens Saturday as he violently finished the Ukrainian fighter with a merciless pounding from crucifix position at the Apex in Las Vegas.
Menifield smothered Mozharov by pressing his forearm into his face. From there, he cracked his temple with the tip of his elbow, bringing a grueling end to the bout in the very first round.
"I beat the crap out of him," said Menifield after his win became official.
Speaking to Insider and other reporters at the post-fight press conference, Menifield then said he'd have been happy to continue fighting in the parking lot.
Mozharov, according to Menifield, tried to trash-talk him in the middle of the fight by belittling his power.
"When I was fighting this guy in the fight, he was talking like, 'I don't feel that. That's soft'," Menifield said. "And then he started talking to me in a way that was disrespectful. So, you know, the gangster came out, old school.
"So right there and then, I was like, 'Okay Alonzo, he is trying to throw you off this grappling thing.' So you know what, I am going to grapple and wrestle him more. And yeah, that's kind of why I was so crazy."
Menifield then said that he tried visualizing Mozharov calling him a racial slur even though Mozharov did not say anything of the sort.
"I told myself, 'He thinks you're a monkey,'" Menifield said. "Seriously. I know it's kind of crazy, but he is from Ukraine and me knowing what I know, it's a mindset."
Menifield could even be heard on the ESPN+ broadcast telling his opponent: "I know you think I'm a monkey."
—Shakiel Mahjouri (@Shak_Fu) June 4, 2022
Menifield said he stuck to his grappling to show Mozharov "that not only am I powerful, tough, and can hit hard, but I am intelligent," he said. "And that's what I showed him."
Victory advanced Menifield's pro MMA record to 12 wins (nine knockouts, two submissions, and one decision) against three losses.
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