• Sanford MMA

Kamaru Usman

The Nigerian Nightmare

From: Delray Beach, Florida, United States
Born: May 11, 1987
Height: 183cm
Weight: 77.1kg

Kamaru Usman is a Nigerian-American professional mixed martial artist. He is currently signed to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), where he competes in the welterweight division. He is currently ranked the number #1 pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC.

The Early Days

Kamaru Usman was born in Auchi, Nigeria in 1987. His father was a  major in the Nigerian Army, and his mother was a teacher. In 1995, his family moved to the United States in the hope of living a better life than they had in Nigeria.

Usman started wrestling during his sophomore year of high school, where he got his nickname “Marty,” which he isn’t too keen on anymore. During high school, Usman compiled a 53-3 record. Usman wrestled alongside an all-time great (inside the cage only) Jon Jones before he left for college on a wrestling scholarship.

Usman first wrestled for William Penn University, but after a disagreement with the head coach, Usman left William Penn University for the University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK). It is there where he placed top three in the nation all three years he attended UNK and was a two-time national finalist. In 2010 Usman became the NCAA Division II national champion at 174 pounds. After his college wrestling career, Usman tried to make the 2012 Olympic team; however, due to injuries, he was unable to, thus turning his attention to MMA.

Usman MMA Career

Usman made his professional MMA debut in November of 2012. He won his first five out of six fights before trying out his luck on The Ultimate Fighter in early 2015. Usman made his TUF debut at The Ultimate Fighter 21, where he faced undefeated eventual Titan FC Welterweight Champion Michael Graves, who he defeated via unanimous decision.

Usman went off to fight against former WSOF Welterweight Champion Steve Carl and Hayder Hassan, both of whom he defeated, which earned him a six-figure contract with the UFC, and a Fight of the Night bonus.

The UFC Welterweight Reign

Usman’s first official UFC fight was against his current rival, Leon Edwards, who he defeated via unanimous decision. He won nine straight fights, including victories over top contenders like Rafael dos Anjos and Demian Maia.

In 2019, Usman finally got his chance to compete in the UFC Welterweight Championship. He faced off against then-champion Tyron Woodley at UFC 235, and he absolutely dominated the fight from start to finish. Usman won by unanimous decision, and he has crowned the new UFC Welterweight Champion.

Since winning the title, Usman has defended his belt four times against tough challengers like Jorge Masvidal, Colby Covington, and Gilbert Burns. Usman’s rivalry against Colby was one for the books, getting almost all UFC riled up during pre-fight conferences. Both fights between the two were very competitive; however, the first one was legendary since Usman and Covington gave the fans one of the best wars the division has ever seen.

And with each successful defense, Kamaru Usman cements his legacy as one of the greatest welterweights in MMA history. There’s no doubt that this is a fighter who is here to stay. Usman is widely considered one of the best welterweights in the world and has been praised for his technical fighting style and ability to control the pace of a fight. It seems like Usman is getting better and better each and every fight, improving his striking most of all.

This fighter profile was last checked and updated on: July 10, 2022