As of 2021, Kamaru Usman is the top-ranked fighter in the UFC. He has displayed his dominance in the business by winning almost every fight he has ever fought.
Kamaru lost his second overall fight, fighting against Jorge Masvidal. Still, revenge was the sweetest for him as he won the 2nd match against Masvidal, establishing him as the best in the business.
He is now the face of UFC and has been in the highlights recently after marrying his girlfriend unannounced. Many people know how he fights and enjoys his best days in the UFC, but most don’t know his story.
What was his upbringing like? How did he enter the UFC? How did he get the nickname, The Nigerian Nightmare?
Stick with us till the end of the article to find the answers to these questions. Let’s start with some quick facts.
Kamaru Usman | Quick Facts
|Full Name||Kamarudeen Usman|
|Date of Birth||May 11, 1987|
|Birth Place||Auchi, Nigeria|
|Nick Name||Marty, The Nigerian Nightmare|
|Nationality||Nigerian and American|
|Age||35 years old|
|Height||6 feet (1.83 m)|
|Weight||170 lb (77 kg)|
|Siblings||Two brothers, Kashetu and Mohammed Usman, and a younger sister|
|Kids||A daughter, Samirah|
|Profession||Mixed martial artist|
|Rank||Black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu|
|Net Worth||$3 million|
|Social Media||Instagram, Twitter|
|Last Update||November, 2022|
Kamaru Usman | Early Years
Kamaru Usman, aka The Nigerian Nightmare, was born on the 11th of May, 1987. He was born in Auchi (Edo State), Nigeria.
He was born the second oldest son and the second child to his father, Mohammed Nasiru Usman, who was in the Nigerian army, and his mother, Deborah, a housewife.
Usman was born and raised in Auchi alongside Kashetu, his older brother, Mohammed, his younger brother, and his younger sister, whose name is unknown.
Kamaru’s father did not force him to be an athlete, but he wanted Kamaru to become a baseball player.
Kamaru Usman was raised in a low-income family and lived the life of a peasant growing up.
He used to help his family at the time of farming and even used to walk for miles to get some water. He indeed had one tough childhood.
When Usman was still a young child, his father moved to the United States to pursue a career as a pharmacist. But it did not take long for Kamaru’s father to bring his entire family to the States.
Kamaru’s family moved to the United States when he was eight years old, in 1995 or the first quarter of 1996. He attended a local high school which made him accustomed to the new environment and culture.
Kamaru initially did not have a good grasp of the English language and was often made fun of. But he joined ESL (English as Second Language) classes which helped him improve his fluency.
Kamaru Usman | Education
Kamaru Usman High School
Usman attended Bowie High School in Arlington, Texas, where he tried his hands on football. He tried his best to be a notable football player, but he had to end his efforts following an injury.
Following that, Kamaru tried wrestling under the recommendation of the school’s wrestling coach. This sport was fit for his physical attributes.
Though Kamaru was a tall and bulky guy, he repeatedly lost to a girl during the early days of his training. But that did not stop the fighter from coming to exercise. Instead, it sparked a fire within him to improve his wrestling skills.
He got so good at wrestling that he held a 53-3 record at Bowie High School.
Kamaru Usman College
After completing high school, Usman attended William Penn University, a private university located in Oskaloosa, Iowa. Kamaru qualified for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), wrestling for the uni.
Though he had qualified, a huge snowstorm kept him from participating in the tournament.
Kamaru transferred to the University of Nebraska, a public land-grant research uni located in Lincoln, Nebraska. He did not fail to achieve notable feats in the new university as he earned NCAA Division II All-American Honors.
Moreover, in 2008, he helped his university win its first overall team title. Similarly, in 2010, Kamaru won the NCAA Division II title and was a member of the University World Team for freestyle wrestling the same year.
After seeing his impressive performance, Christian Okoye, a former National Football League athlete, gave Usman his nickname, The Nigerian Nightmare.
Not only Kamaru but all of his siblings were into sports growing up. The oldest sibling, Kashetu, played college soccer for the University of South Carolina.
Likewise, the youngest son, Mohammed, was a football player at the University of Arizona. Meanwhile, the youngest sibling and only daughter played college volleyball for Tarleton University.
Kamaru Usman Career
Early Days of his UFC Career
Usman was an incredible wrestler; he had the technique and the spirit but having all that did not pay the bills. Wrestling did not earn him much, and thus, he opted for MMA instead.
While Usman was training for the 2012 Olympics trials, he met Rashad Evans, a retired MMA fighter and UFC light heavyweight champion. Rashad was the one who informed Kamaru about the career opportunities at UFC.
Following that, Usman began his UFC career under the endorsement of Rashad. Needless to say, Usman nailed his first UFC fight, winning against David Glover at RFA 5 in Nebraska in November 2012.
Though his first bout proved to be a successful one, he did not win the second one—his second fight against Jose Caceres, which marked his first and only loss.
His shot at the title
As Kamaru is a persistent guy, he did not let the loss bring his morale down. He kept working out and continued training for future matches. He fought at regional promotions to fight in The Ultimate Fighter, also known as UFC fighter’s breeding ground.
Kamaru did not take any losses while fighting in The Ultimate Fighter, making him a fan favorite at the time.
At the height of his career, Usman won a match against Hayde Hassan in July 2015, which earned him a six-figure contract in the UFC.
For the next three years, Usman dominated the UFC with his incredible instincts, powerful hits, and an undying hunger for more.
At the time, Tyron Woodly was holding the UFC Welterweight Championship, which was also one of the reasons Usman was on the prowl. He wanted to snatch the UFC Welterweight Championship from Tyron.
Finally, Usman got his long-awaited shot at the welterweight title against Tyron Woodly on the 2nd of March, 2019. The fight was the co-main event at UFC 235.
Kamaru Usman’s unquenchable thirst for victory won him the Welterweight Championship match via unanimous decision.
He became the new Welterweight Champion and also became the first Africa-born UFC Champion.
Kamaru Usman vs. Colby Covington
On the 14th of December, 2019, Kamaru got his first match to defend his welterweight title after snatching it from Tyron.
Kamaru was set to fight against Colby at UFC 245 as the main event of the night. The match began, and as expected from the Nigerian Nightmare, he dominated the fight.
He did not let Colby out-match him except in the 4th round, where Colby had a slight edge over the Nigerian fighter. But that did not last long as Kamaru won the fight in the 4th minute of the 5th round.
He won the match via Technical Knockout. The match was beautiful and exciting. Thus, it was titled Fight of the Night. Both the fighters got bonuses for their fantastic performance.
Kamaru Usman | Net Worth
Kamaru’s net worth is estimated to be around $3 million, which is credited to his earnings from the UFC, being a UFC titleholder, and bonuses from the special events he fought in.
After he won the UFC 235 against Tyron Woodly, his salary was raised to $380,000. As of now, his annual salary is estimated to be $590,000.
The Nigerian Nightmare has won over $2 million fighting for the UFC and also won over $600,000 for his victory against Jorge Masvidal, which was the main event at UFC 261.
Besides his earnings from UFC, he also earns quite a lot from endorsement deals. Kamaru is in paid partnership with the excellent sporting company Reebok. Likewise, he is also endorsed by Trifecta.
Usman is a bit conservative when it comes to his personal life and his house. Though he has never shown us his house, he has been showing off his impressive car collection that brags a Lamborghini Uru and a Rolls Royce Ghost.
The Lambo he got in his collection has a starting price of $210,000. Likewise, the retail price of the Rolls Royce Ghost is somewhere around $250,000.
Besides exotic cars, he also owns a motorbike. Kamaru has a Harley Davidson Motorbike, which is worth thousands of dollars. He has nicknamed the bike ‘Sharmain’; he seems like he loves his vehicles.
Kamaru Usman | Wife and Kids
Kumaru Usman just recently got married to his Brazillian girlfriend, Eleslie Dietzsch, sometime in September 2021.
Eleslie had been Usman’s partner for a long time, the couple was blessed with a beautiful baby girl in 2014. Thus, it is safe to assume that they had been together since the early 2010s.
The couple has named their daughter Samira Usman. Born in August of 2014, she is 8 years old as of 2022.
The two have not opened up about their first date or how they met since they prefer to keep their personal life private. But, judging by their Instagram post, the couple seems to be in a blissful relationship.
Kamaru’s girlfriend was born on the 22nd of November, 1986. She is of Brazillian descent and speaks Portuguese.
Eleslie was born daughter to her father, Jose, and her mother, Eunice. Besides that, not much info is available about her.
Kamaru Usman vs Jorge Masvidal
Kamaru was defeated only once in his entire UFC career, and that was his second overall fight which was against Jorge Masvidal. So, naturally, he did not like Jorge as he put a dent in his nearly perfect record.
Kamaru wanted revenge, one fight against Masvidal. The two were still on bad terms with each other, they were going back and forth all the time until the match decided the winner.
On the 24th of April, 2021, Kamaru got what he wanted. He was set to fight against Masvidal, the fight was the main event of UFC 261.
After months of ongoing disputes, Kamaru put an end to it, knocking out Masvidal. Usman seemed to be calm and confident in the ring. He definitely trained to the point that he was sure of victory.
Kamaru was the dominant fighter in the match; his strike accuracy was well above Masvidal’s as well as his wrestling proficiency. Equipped with such mentality, strength, and ability, it did not take long for Usman to finish the match.
Kamaru Usman landed the winning blow in the second round, a beautiful right-hand punch that landed perfectly on Masvidal’s face.
Kamaru Usman Trivia
Usman was nicknamed Marty during his high school days because the wrestling coach could not pronounce his name correctly.
Moreover, the girl he faced during the early days of his wrestling training was a three times state champion.
Unlike most UFC fighters, Kamaru does not have a single tattoo on his body; he prefers to keep it clean. Usman is also an avid gamer; he enjoys playing video games while he is off the track—he likes painting.
Kamaru Usman has a black belt in Jiu-Jitsu. Likewise, he is also a graduated folk-style wrestler and a former freestyle wrestler. Jorge Santiago and Trevor Wittman trained him.
In 2009, Kamaru’s father, Mohammed Nasiru Usman, was arrested and charged with multiple counts of healthcare fraud. Usman was sentenced to 180 months or 15 years in prison paired with restitution of 1.3 million US dollars.
As of now, Mohammed Usman, Kamaru’s younger brother, is also on the same path as Kamaru, but he is in a different league, not the UFC.
Likewise, his older brother, Kashetu Usman, is a doctor of pharmacy. It turns out that soccer was not his cup of tea.
Social Media Links
Although Kamaru prefers to keep his personal life private, he had to have a social media account for millions of his fans. The fans need to be engaged so that the number of followers does not decrease over time.
Kamaru has an account on Gram, Twitter, and Facebook; his newlywed wife does not have to post for the fans, so she does not have any accounts.
Instagram: 2.6 million followers
Facebook: 807k followers
Twitter: 648.2k followers
Did Kamaru Usman and Israel Adesanya fight?
Kamaru wanted to try his hands in the middleweight division but at the time Adesanya was the UFC middleweight championship titleholder.
Does Usman train with Khabib?
Yes, Usman does train with Khabib Nurmagomedov, the undefeated champ of the UFC, but this Usman is different. The one who is training under the great Khabib is Usman Nurmagomedov, a Russian fighter from Moscow, not Kamaru Usman.
What does Kamaru Usman bench press?
At the peak of his physique, he bench pressed over 360lbs and could squat over 500lbs. He does not do it anymore as he has changed his way of training.
Kamaru is now focusing on maintaining his strength and physique rather than building it.
What is Kamaru Usman’s entrance song?
Kamaru Usman walked out to Burna Boy’s song titled Anybody.
He used it as his entrance song for his fight against Colby at UFC 245 and his match against Jorge Masvidal at UFC 251 where he got his long-awaited revenge. Bruna Boy is a rapper, songwriter, and dancer who is native to Nigeria.