top of page

Kamaru Usman's Father Used to Watch His Son's Fights in Prison

According to the handbook of the Federal Correctional Institution in Seagoville, Texas, there are six televisions for the approximately 175 inmates housed in its satellite camp. Televisions are made available from 6 a.m. to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, and correctional officers can terminate viewing at any time if appropriate noise levels are not maintained.

There are no formal exceptions to these rules. Prison protocol is nonnegotiable. However, any inmate who served time there from 2013 to 2020 will tell you there was one exception.

Over the past seven years, almost every time UFC welterweight Kamaru Usman fought, the minimum security satellite camp turned into a full-fledged cheering section. All six televisions, which the inmates usually divided, were turned to the UFC broadcast. Just about every inmate packed himself into the television room, leaving the library, dormitory and multipurpose room empty.

The definition of "appropriate noise levels" in the common area took on a new meaning, and it wasn't rare for a correctional officer to lose track of time and allow the evening to extend past midnight.

"I honestly can't say there was anything else we looked forward to more," says Dee Ray, an inmate in 2007-13 and 2017-20. "Nothing could replace that. That was a time when everyone came together -- Black, white and Mexican -- and enjoyed the festivities. It kind of put us in the arena, so to speak. We didn't think about what we were going through during that time."


bottom of page