Kamaru Usman: Who is UFC's 'Nigerian Nightmare'?


Kamaru Usman has been one of the form fighters in the UFC for several years now.

Aptly known as ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’, Usman has strung together a mightily impressive record since joining the UFC in 2015.

Born in Auchi, Nigeria in 1988, Usman spent his formative years in Benin City.

However, after becoming a pharmacist in the United States, Kamaru’s father relocated the family to Dallas, Texas, where the budding warrior would spend the rest of his childhood.

He began wrestling during his high school days in Arlington, amassing an incredible record of 53-3 and finishing third at the Texas state championships.

After failing in his bid to qualify for the USA Olympic team for freestyle wrestling in 2012, Usman turned to Mixed Martial Arts.

He made his professional debut in November 2012 before eventually trying out for The Ultimate Fighter in 2015.


The rest, as they say, is history.

He would go on to earn his spot in Dana White’s famous Octagon with a fight against Hayder Hassan in the same year, winning via submission in the second round.

Since then, his meteoric rise has gone from strength to strength, shooting up through the ranks and winning an astonishing 13 fights on the bounce.

Standing at 1.83 meters tall and at a weight fluctuating around the 70-80kg mark, Usman is a warrior in his prime.


Fighting from a switch stance, the now welterweight king became the most feared fighter in the division and it was no surprise that he would go on to claim his first title in next to no time.

He won the aforementioned first title in 2019, overcoming the powerhouse that is Tyron Woodley by unanimous decision on a momentous night at UFC 235.

In winning the belt, Usman became the first African-born UFC title winner, making history for the proud nation of Nigeria.


He has since defended that title on three separate occasions, beating Colby Covington in late 2019, Jorge Masvidal in 2020 and, most recently, Gilbert Burns.

In truth, Usman has made light work of the welterweight division and it is hard to see anyone beating him in the near future.

His victory over Burns extended his unbeaten run in the organisation to 13, leaving his current-standing MMA record at 18-1-0.

He is managed by the famous Ali Abdelaziz and is due to fight Jorge Masvidal in a massive rematch in mid-2021

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