Kamaru Usman has established himself as one of the most popular MMA fighters, and among the greatest fighters of all time. His rivalries with the likes of Jorge Masvidal and Colby Covington has propelled him to the forefront of fans’ minds, and he has remained dominant throughout.
Usman is the current UFC welterweight champion and will face Leon Edwards, the division’s top contender, in a rematch on August 20, 2022. Ahead of the UFC 278 fight, here are 10 things to know about the ‘Nigerian Nightmare’.
Age: 35 years.
Background: Kamaru Usman was born on March 11, 1987, in Auchi, Edo State, Nigeria. He was born to a housewife mother and a Nigerian Army officer father.
Early Years: The American and Nigerian national of Black ethnicity with African roots comes from a middle-class family and was raised in Auchi, Edo state.
Growing Up: Kamaru grew up as a peasant in Auchi with his younger brother, Mohammed, and a younger sister. He, like most locals in his hometown, walked for miles to get water and worked as a farmhand on his family’s farm.
Education: The Athlete’s educational background includes his studies at Bowie High School in Arlington, Texas. Kamaru struggled to establish himself on the school’s football team and eventually gave up after injuring himself. Following that, Kamaru transferred to the University of Nebraska at Kearney, where he earned NCAA Division II All-American honours and helped the school’s wrestling team win its first-ever overall team title in 2008. He went on to win the NCAA Division II national championship in 2010 and was a member of the University World Team for freestyle wrestling in 2010.
Early Life in Fighting Sports: Although Kamaru was an exceptional wrestler, his opportunities to make a living from the sport were limited. As a result, after being briefed on the career prospects in MMA by former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans, he committed to becoming an MMA fighter. Kamaru made his MMA debut in November 2012 at RFA 5 in Nebraska, defeating David Glover.
Amateur Career: Kamaru Usman began his career in combat sports as a high school amateur. Prior to attending college, he had a 53-3 record. Usman qualified for the NAIA national tournament during his college years.
First Title: In 2019, Kamaru Usman became the first African fighter to capture an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) title. He defeated American Tyron Woodley in a mixed martial arts (MMA) fight.
UFC Record: Usman has a perfect 15-0 UFC record and a 20-1 overall Pro MMA record.
Daughter: Usman is the father of a daughter named Samirah, who was born in 2014.