Kamaru Usman (born May 11, 1987) is a Nigerian-born professional martial artist and wrestler based in America. He used to hold the title of UFC Welterweight Champion and presently competes in the welterweight division of the competition. Usman also triumphed in The Ultimate Fighter 21 competition. He is currently ranked first in the UFC men’s pound-for-pound rankings as of August 8, 2022.
Early Life & Education
On May 11, 1987, Kamaru Usman was born in Auchi, Edo State, a region of South-South Nigeria. His father was a major in the Nigerian Army, and his mother was a teacher. Kashetu and Mohammed are his two brothers. Usman’s family moved to the United States when he was eight years old. Muhammed Nasiru Usman eventually immigrated there and completed pharmacy school. They made Dallas, Texas, their home.
Usman started wrestling during his freshman year at Bowie High School in Arlington, Texas. When he originally joined the team, Kamaru Usman was given the nickname “Marty” since his wrestling coach at the time had trouble pronouncing his first name, Kamarudeen. He kept using this moniker throughout his amateur wrestling career. Before leaving for college, Kamaru Usman participated alongside Jon Jones at the senior national competition. He had a 53-3 record at the end of his senior season and came in third place at the Texas state championships.
Kamaru Usman competed in wrestling for the University of Nebraska at Kearney and finished in the top three nationally each of his three years there. At 174 pounds, he won the 2010 NCAA Division II national championship. In 2008, Usman contributed to UNK’s first-ever team championship. Christian Okoye, a former NFL player, gave his approval for Usman to trademark the moniker “The Nigerian Nightmare.”
Mixed Martial Arts
The wrestlers on Team Miller were trained by Kamaru Usman in The Ultimate Fighter season fourteen in 2011. After failing to advance from the freestyle wrestling phase of the 2012 US Olympic Team Trials, he made his professional MMA debut in November of that same year. Before submitting an application to The Ultimate Fighter in the early months of 2015, he participated for a number of regional promotions, amassing a 5-1 record.
Kamaru Usman was chosen to take part in The Ultimate Fighter 21 in February 2015. He won the competition, and the Ultimate Fighting Championship offered him a six-figure contract. In the championship match, Usman defeated Hayder Hassan Abdurahman through second-round submission.
Usman faced potential challenger Leon Edwards after making his official UFC debut in 2015. He was declared the winner by a unanimous vote. Usman faces Leon Edwards on August 20, 2022, at UFC 278 for his sixth title defense. Usman lost his debut fight in the UFC after being knocked out in the fifth round.
Kamaru Usman has a daughter, Samirah, who was born in 2014. Mohammed, a fellow UFC fighter who competes in the Heavyweight division, is Kamaru Usman’s brother.
Awards and accomplishments
- UFC Welterweight Championship
- UFC The Ultimate Fighter 21 tournament winner
- UFC Performance of the Night
- UFC Fight of the Night
- 2021: Knockout of the Year
- 2021: Fighter of the Year
- 2021: ESPN Male Fighter of the Year
- 2021: BT Sport Male Fighter of the Year
- 2010: NCAA Division II National Championship
- 2010: NCAA Division II All-American
- 2007: NAIA National Qualifier
- 2005: UIL All-State out of Bowie High School
According to different sources online, Kamaru Usman’s net worth is estimated at around $3 million.