Kamaru Usman

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Kamaru Usman
BornKamaru Usman
(1987-05-11) May 11, 1987 (age 32)
Auchi, Nigeria
Other namesThe Nigerian Nightmare
Height6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight170 lb (77 kg; 12 st)
Reach76 in (193 cm)[1]
Fighting out ofFort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S.
TeamHard Knocks 365
RankBlack belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Jorge Santiago[2]
WrestlingNCAA Division II Wrestling[1]
Years active2012–present
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout6
By submission1
By decision8
By submission1
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Kamaru Usman (born May 11, 1987) is a Nigerian-American mixed martial artist who competes in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), where he is the current UFC Welterweight Champion. Usman is also The Ultimate Fighter 21 tournament winner. As of October 14, 2019, he is #10 in the UFC pound-for-pound rankings.[3]


Usman was born in Auchi, Nigeria.[4] His father was in the Nigerian Army. Usman and his family immigrated to the United States when he was 8 years old.[5] He started wrestling in his sophomore year in high school, at Bowie High School in Arlington, Texas. Because Usman's wrestling coach at the time had trouble pronouncing his first name Kamarudeen, he was given the nickname "Marty" while on the team and it stuck with him during his amateur wrestling career.[6][7] After compiling a 53-3 record in high school wrestling, Usman wrestled alongside Jon Jones at the senior national tournament before leaving for college.[8]

In college, Usman wrestled in Iowa at William Penn University for one year, where he was an NAIA national qualifier in 2007. He then transferred to the University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK) and helped the school win its first-ever team title in 2008.[9] Usman earned NCAA Division II All-American honors all three years he attended UNK and was a two-time national finalist. He became the NCAA Division II national champion at 174 lbs in 2010.[9] Additionally, he was a University World Team member in freestyle wrestling in 2010.[10] Usman has a brother, Mohammed, who is also a mixed martial artist.[11] Former National Football League (NFL) star Christian Okoye, who has the nickname "The Nigerian Nightmare" trademarked, gave his blessing for Usman to use it.[12]

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Professional MMA career[edit]

Usman made his professional MMA debut in November 2012. He compiled a record of 5-1, competing for several regional promotions before trying out for The Ultimate Fighter in early 2015.

The Ultimate Fighter[edit]

In February 2015, it was announced that Usman was one of the fighters selected to be on The Ultimate Fighter 21.[13]

In his first fight on the show, Usman faced Michael Graves. He won the fight via majority decision.[14]

In the semifinals, Usman faced off against former WSOF Welterweight Champion Steve Carl. He won the fight via unanimous decision and advanced to the finals.[15]

In the finals, Usman faced Hayder Hassan on July 12, 2015, at The Ultimate Fighter 21 Finale.[16] He won the bout via submission in the second round, thus winning a six-figure contract with the UFC.[17] He was also awarded a Performance of the Night bonus.[18]

Ultimate Fighting Championship[edit]

Usman faced Leon Edwards on December 19, 2015, at UFC on Fox 17.[19] He won the fight by unanimous decision.[20]

Usman was expected to face Sérgio Moraes on May 14, 2016, at UFC 198.[21] However, Usman was replaced on the card for undisclosed reasons by promotional newcomer Luan Chagas.[22]

Usman next faced Alexander Yakovlev on July 23, 2016, at UFC on Fox 20.[23] He won the one-sided fight via unanimous decision.[24]

Usman faced Warlley Alves on November 19, 2016, at UFC Fight Night 100.[25] He won the fight via unanimous decision.[26]

Usman faced Sean Strickland on April 8, 2017, at UFC 210.[27] He won the fight via unanimous decision.[28]

A rescheduled bout with Sérgio Moraes eventually took place on September 16, 2017, at UFC Fight Night 116.[29] Usman won the fight via knockout in the first round.[30]

Usman was scheduled to face Emil Weber Meek on December 30, 2017, at UFC 219, but the fight was rescheduled for UFC Fight Night 124.[31][32] He won the fight by unanimous decision.

Usman was expected to face Santiago Ponzinibbio on May 19, 2018, at UFC Fight Night 129.[33] However, on April 21, Ponzinibbio was pulled from the card due to injury[34] and replaced by Demian Maia.[35] Usman won the fight via unanimous decision.[36]

Usman faced Rafael dos Anjos on November 30, 2018, at The Ultimate Fighter 28 Finale.[37] He won the fight via unanimous decision.[38] This win earned him the Performance of the Night award.[39]

UFC Welterweight Champion[edit]

Riding a nine-fight winning streak in the UFC, Usman next faced UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley on March 2, 2019, in the co-main event at UFC 235.[40] He won the fight via unanimous decision to become the new UFC Welterweight Champion.[41]

Usman is scheduled to face Colby Covington at UFC 245 on December 14, 2019.[42]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Professional record breakdown
16 matches 15 wins 1 loss
By knockout 6 0
By submission 1 1
By decision 8 0
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 15–1 Tyron Woodley Decision (unanimous) UFC 235 March 2, 2019 5 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Won the UFC Welterweight Championship.
Win 14–1 Rafael dos Anjos Decision (unanimous) The Ultimate Fighter: Heavy Hitters Finale November 30, 2018 5 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Performance of the Night.
Win 13–1 Demian Maia Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Maia vs. Usman May 19, 2018 5 5:00 Santiago, Chile
Win 12–1 Emil Weber Meek Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Stephens vs. Choi January 14, 2018 3 5:00 St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Win 11–1 Sérgio Moraes KO (punch) UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs. Branch September 16, 2017 1 2:48 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Win 10–1 Sean Strickland Decision (unanimous) UFC 210 April 8, 2017 3 5:00 Buffalo, New York, United States
Win 9–1 Warlley Alves Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Bader vs. Nogueira 2 November 19, 2016 3 5:00 São Paulo, Brazil
Win 8–1 Alexander Yakovlev Decision (unanimous) UFC on Fox: Holm vs. Shevchenko July 23, 2016 3 5:00 Chicago, Illinois, United States
Win 7–1 Leon Edwards Decision (unanimous) UFC on Fox: dos Anjos vs. Cerrone 2 December 19, 2015 3 5:00 Orlando, Florida, United States
Win 6–1 Hayder Hassan Submission (arm-triangle choke) The Ultimate Fighter: American Top Team vs. Blackzilians Finale July 12, 2015 2 1:19 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Won The Ultimate Fighter 21 tournament. Performance of the Night.
Win 5–1 Marcus Hicks TKO (punches) Legacy FC 33 July 18, 2014 2 5:00 Allen, Texas, United States
Win 4–1 Lenny Lovoto TKO (punches) Legacy FC 30 April 4, 2014 3 1:04 New Mexico, United States
Win 3–1 Steven Rodriguez TKO (punches) Legacy FC 27 January 31, 2014 1 1:31 Houston, Texas, United States
Win 2–1 Rashid Abdullah TKO (punches) VFC 41 December 14, 2013 1 3:49 Ralston, Nebraska, United States
Loss 1–1 Jose Caceres Submission (rear-naked choke) CFA 11 May 24, 2013 1 3:47 Coral Gables, Florida, United States
Win 1–0 David Glover TKO (punches) RFA 5 November 30, 2012 2 4:50 Kearney, Nebraska, United States
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 2–0 Steve Carl Decision (unanimous) The Ultimate Fighter: American Top Team vs. Blackzilians June 17, 2015 (airdate) 2 5:00 Coconut Creek, Florida, United States The Ultimate Fighter 21 semifinals round.
Win 1–0 Michael Graves Decision (majority) April 22, 2015 (airdate) 2 5:00 The Ultimate Fighter 21 quarterfinals round.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Usman - Official UFC Fighter Profile". UFC.com. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  2. ^ Marc Raimondi (@marc_raimondi) (March 8, 2019). ""New UFC champ Kamaru Usman has been awarded his Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt by longtime coach @SantiagoMMA (...)"". Twitter.com. Retrieved June 1, 2019.
  3. ^ "Rankings | UFC". www.ufc.com. Retrieved 2019-10-15.
  4. ^ Fight Night Santiago: Kamaru Usman - Made in Nigeria, retrieved 2019-10-06
  5. ^ "Interview with Usman, 21st Ultimate Fighter Winner and future UFC Champion". Sarajevo Times. 2017-02-03. Retrieved 2019-03-03.
  6. ^ "Kamarudeen ) Usman - Wrestling". University of Nebraska - Kearney Athletics.
  7. ^ JRE MMA Show #59 with Kamaru Usman, retrieved 2019-10-06
  8. ^ "Kamaru Usman: Building The Beast (Feat. Jon Jones, Rashad Evans, Mom & Dad)". www.flocombat.com. Retrieved 2019-03-03.
  9. ^ a b c d "This weekend in MMA: UFC 235 features Mizzou wrestlers Askren and Woodley". Team USA. Retrieved 2019-03-03.
  10. ^ Bevois (2012-11-29). "Interview with RFA fighter, NCAA wrestling champ, and TUF 14 coach Usman". onthemat.com. Retrieved 2012-11-29.
  11. ^ "Onetime 'TUF' hopeful Kevin Nowaczyk, Kamaru Usman's brother among Victory FC 60 additions". mmajunkie.com. 2018-03-22.
  12. ^ Bembry, Jerry (2019-03-01). "Kamaru Usman on Tyron Woodley: 'I will push all the right buttons until I break him'". The Undefeated. Retrieved 2019-03-03.
  13. ^ Marc Raimondi (2015-02-28). "TUF 21 features American Top Team vs. Blackzilians with $500K on the line". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2015-02-28.
  14. ^ Mike Bohn (2015-04-22). "Episode No. 1 recap: 'The Ultimate Fighter 21: ATT vs. Blackzilians'". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2015-04-22.
  15. ^ Mike Bohn (2015-06-17). "Episode No. 9 recap: 'The Ultimate Fighter 21: ATT vs. Blackzilians'". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2015-06-17.
  16. ^ Dana Becker (2015-07-09). "The Ultimate Fighter 21 Finale card all set, Four TUF Fighters in action". fightline.com. Retrieved 2015-07-09.
  17. ^ a b Matt Erickson (2015-07-12). "TUF 21 Finale results: Kamaru Usman taps Hayder Hassan to win 'TUF 21' crown". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2015-07-12.
  18. ^ Mike Sloan (2015-07-12). "'TUF 21' Finale Bonuses: Thompson, Usman, Masvidal, Samman nab $50K". sherdog.com. Retrieved 2015-07-12.
  19. ^ Staff (2015-09-01). "Leon Edwards vs. Kamaru Usman added to UFC on FOX 17 in Orlando". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2015-09-01.
  20. ^ John Morgan (2015-12-19). "UFC on FOX 17 results: Kamaru Usman grinds out Leon Edwards". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2015-12-19.
  21. ^ Guilherme Cruz (2016-03-01). "Sergio Moraes vs. Kamaru Usman added to UFC event in Brazil". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2016-03-01.
  22. ^ Staff (2016-05-01). "Kamaru Usman out of UFC 198 bout with Sergio Moraes". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2016-05-01.
  23. ^ Chris Sosa (2016-06-03). "'Nigerian Nightmare' lands spot for UFC event at United Center". redeyechicago.com. Retrieved 2016-06-07.
  24. ^ Steven Marrocco (2016-07-23). "UFC on FOX 20 results: Kamaru Usman dominates Alexander Yakovlev in grappling heavy affair". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2016-07-23.
  25. ^ Guilherme Cruz (2016-10-04). "UFC Fight Night 100 gets Warlley Alves vs. Kamaru Usman". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2015-10-04.
  26. ^ Steven Marrocco (2016-11-19). "UFC Fight Night 100 results: Kamaru Usman dominates Warlley Alves for wide decision win". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2016-11-19.
  27. ^ Staff (2017-02-14). "Sean Strickland vs. Kamaru Usman added to UFC 210 in Buffalo". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2017-02-14.
  28. ^ Steven Marrocco (2017-04-08). "UFC 210 results: Kamaru Usman dominates Sean Strickland, still perfect in UFC". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2017-04-08.
  29. ^ David Tees (2017-07-23). "Multiple fights added To UFC Fight Night: Pittsburgh". fansided.com. Retrieved 2017-07-23.
  30. ^ "UFC-Pittsburgh results: Kamaru Usman right hand proves problematic for Sergio Moraes". MMAjunkie. 2017-09-17. Retrieved 2017-09-17.
  31. ^ DNA, MMA. "TUF 21 winnaar Kamaru Usman treft "Valhalla Army" tijdens UFC 219". mmadna.nl. Retrieved 2017-10-20.
  32. ^ Staff (2017-12-14). "Kamaru Usman vs. Emil Meek rescheduled for UFC Fight Night 124 in St. Louis". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2017-12-14.
  33. ^ Ariel Helwani (2018-03-23). "Santiago Ponzinibbio vs. Kamaru Usman scheduled for UFC Chile main event". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2018-03-23.
  34. ^ "UFC Chile main, co-main events fall apart with Santiago Ponzinibbio, Volkan Oezdemir out". MMAjunkie. 2018-04-22. Retrieved 2018-04-22.
  35. ^ Raphael Marinho (2018-04-26). "Ultimate announces Demian Maia as substitute for Ponzinibbio at UFC Chile" (in Portuguese). sportv.globo.com. Retrieved 2018-04-26.
  36. ^ "UFC Fight Night 129 results: Kamaru Usman denies Demian Maia takedowns, cruises to decision win". MMAjunkie. 2018-05-20. Retrieved 2018-05-20.
  37. ^ Raphael Marinho (2018-09-12). "UFC plans Dos Anjos vs. Kamaru Usman as TUF 28 Finale Main Fight" (in Portuguese). sportv.globo.com. Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  38. ^ "TUF 28 Finale results: Kamaru Usman relentless, stakes title claim with shutdown of Rafael dos Anjos". MMAjunkie. 2018-12-01. Retrieved 2018-12-01.
  39. ^ a b "TUF 28 Finale Bonuses! Benavidez's TKO Leads $50K Winners". MMAmania.com. Retrieved 2018-12-01.
  40. ^ Tristen Critchfield (2019-01-06). "Tyron Woodley, Kamaru Usman to clash for welterweight championship at UFC 235". sherdog.com. Retrieved 2019-01-07.
  41. ^ a b "UFC 235 results: Kamaru Usman blanks Tyron Woodley, takes belt in one-sided affair". MMA Junkie. 2019-03-03. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
  42. ^ "Kamaru Usman to face Colby Covington at UFC 245". MMAFighting.com. September 27, 2019. Retrieved September 27, 2019.
  43. ^ Mike Sloan (2015-07-12). "'TUF 21' Finale Bonuses: Thompson, Usman, Masvidal, Samman nab $50K". sherdog.com. Retrieved 2015-07-12.
  44. ^ Sherdog.com. "Kamaru". Sherdog. Retrieved 2018-12-01.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Tyron Woodley
12th UFC Welterweight Champion
March 2, 2019 – Present