Kamarudeen Usman (born May 11, 1987) is a Nigerian-American professional mixed martial artist, former freestyle wrestler, and graduated folkstyle wrestler. He is known professionally as Kamaru Usman.
He currently competes in the welterweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), where he is the current UFC Welterweight Champion.
Kamaru Usman was also The Ultimate Fighter 21 tournament winner. As of September 27, 2021, he is #1 in the UFC men’s pound-for-pound rankings. As a wrestler, he primarily competed at 84 kilograms and was a 2010 US University World Team Member.
Collegiately, he competed at 174 pounds and was the 2010 NCAA Division II National Champion, a three-time NCAA DII All-American, and an NAIA National qualifier.
Nigerian-American mixed martial artist
|Kamaru Usman: History • Bio • Photo|
|Wiki Facts & About Data|
|Full Name:||Kamarudeen Usman|
|Stage Name:||Kamaru Usman|
|Born:||11 May 1987 (age 35 years old)|
|Place of Birth:||Auchi, Edo, Nigeria|
|State Of Origin:||Edo State|
|Parents:||Muhammed Nasiru Usman, Afishetu P. Usman|
|Siblings:||Mohammed Usman, Kashetu Usman|
|Wife • Spouse:||Eleslie Dietzsch|
|Girlfriend • Partner:||N/A|
|Occupation:||Mixed Martial Artist • Freestyle Wrestler|
|Net Worth:||US$3 million|
Kamaru Usman was born in Auchi, Edo State, Nigeria, on the 11th of May 1987. His father, Muhammed Nasiru Usman, was a major in the Nigerian Army, and his mother, Afishetu P. Usman, was a teacher. He grew up with his two brothers, Kashetu Usman and Mohammed Usman, the latter of whom is a mixed martial artist.
He struggled with squalid poverty and a life of deprivation around his ecology when he was a child.
His father, Muhammed Nasiru Usman, who evolved into a pharmacist in the United States, brought his family into the country when Kamaru Usman was eight years old, immigrating to Dallas, Texas, United States.
Kamaru Usman began wrestling in his sophomore year while he was in high school at Bowie High School in Arlington, Texas. Because his wrestling coach at the time had trouble pronouncing his first name Kamarudeen, he got the nickname “Marty” when he joined the team, and it stuck with him during his amateur wrestling career.
After compiling a 53–3 record in high school wrestling and placing third at the Texas state championships, Kamaru Usman wrestled alongside Jon Jones at the senior national tournament before leaving for college.
In college, Kamaru Usman wrestled in Iowa at William Penn University for one year, where he was an NAIA national tournament qualifier in 2007, but was unable to attend the tournament due to a snowstorm; half of his team and his head coach, however, had left early for the tournament without him, which frustrated him and influenced him to leave William Penn.
He later transferred to the University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK), which had previously tried to recruit him under the advisement of then-UNK wrestler Tervel Dlagnev, and subsequently helped the Lopers win their first-ever team title in 2008.
Kamaru Usman placed top three in the nation all three years he attended UNK and was a two-time national finalist. He became the NCAA Division II national champion at 174 pounds in 2010, finishing the season with a 44–1 record and 30 straight wins.
Shortly after his folkstyle career was over, he turned his attention to freestyle wrestling and became a United States Olympic Training Center resident, hoping to make the 2012 Olympic team.
Despite making the US University World Team in 2010, Kamaru Usman was sidetracked by injuries and eventually abandoned his Olympic goal after failing to qualify for the 2012 US Olympic Team Trials, turning his attention to mixed martial arts instead.
Former National Football League (NFL) star Christian Okoye, who has the nickname “The Nigerian Nightmare” trademarked, gave his blessing for Usman to use it.
In 2011, Kamaru Usman served as the wrestling coach for Team Miller in The Ultimate Fighter season fourteen. After failing to qualify for the 2012 US Olympic Team Trials in freestyle wrestling, he made his professional MMA debut in November 2012.
He scored 5–1, competing for several regional promotions before trying out for The Ultimate Fighter in early 2015. In February 2015, it was announced that Kamaru Usman was one of the fighters selected to be on The Ultimate Fighter 21.
In his TUF debut and quarterfinal bout of the bracket, Usman faced undefeated eventual Titan FC Welterweight Champion Michael Graves. He won the fight via majority decision.
In the semifinals, Kamaru Usman faced off against long-time veteran and former WSOF Welterweight Champion Steve Carl. He won the fight via unanimous decision and advanced to the finals.
Kamaru Usman faced Hayder Hassan in the finals on July 12, 2015, at The Ultimate Fighter 21 Finale. He won the bout via submission in the second round, thus winning a six-figure contract with the UFC. He was also awarded the Performance of the Night award.
In his debut as a UFC athlete, he faced future contender Leon Edwards on December 19, 2015, at UFC on Fox 17. He won the fight by unanimous decision.
Kamaru Usman was expected to face two-time Jiu-Jitsu World Champion Sérgio Moraes on May 14, 2016, at UFC 198. However, it was announced on May 1 that he had pulled out of the bout for undisclosed reasons and was replaced by promotional newcomer Luan Chagas.
In his first bout of the year, he faced Alexander Yakovlev on July 23, 2016, at UFC on Fox 20. He won the one-sided fight via unanimous decision after out-grappling Yakovlev. Kamaru Usman faced TUF: Brazil 3 tournament winner Warlley Alves on November 19, 2016, at UFC Fight Night 100. He won the match by unanimous decision for the third-straight time.
Kamaru Usman faced former long-time KOTC Middleweight Champion Sean Strickland on April 8, 2017, at UFC 210. He once again won the fight via unanimous decision. A rescheduled bout with Sérgio Moraes on a seven-match unbeaten streak took place on September 16, 2017, at UFC Fight Night 116. He won the fight via a one-punch knockout in the first round.
Kamaru Usman was scheduled to face Venator FC Welterweight Champion Emil Weber Meek on December 30, 2017, at UFC 219, however, Emil Weber Meek presented VISA problems, and the pair was rescheduled for UFC Fight Night 124.
He won the fight by unanimous decision after out-wrestling his opponent. He was expected to face Santiago Ponzinibbio on May 19, 2018, at UFC Fight Night 129. However, on April 21, Santiago Ponzinibbio was pulled from the card due to injury and replaced by ADCC Grappling World Champion and two-time UFC title challenger Demian Maia.
After denying all of Demian Maia‘s fifteen attempts of takedowns and out-performing his opponent on the feet, Kamaru Usman won the fight via unanimous decision.
On August 18, it was announced that he would serve as a back-up for the UFC 228 main event match between long-time champion Tyron Woodley and undefeated challenger Darren Till. Kamaru Usman faced former UFC Lightweight Champion Rafael dos Anjos on November 30, 2018, at The Ultimate Fighter 28 Finale.
He won the fight via unanimous decision. This win earned him his second Performance of the Night award. Riding a nine-fight winning streak in the UFC, Kamaru Usman next faced UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley on March 2, 2019, in the co-main event at UFC 235.
After dominating Woodley for five rounds, he won the one-sided fight via unanimous decision.
Kamaru Usman made his first title defence and faced long-time rival, Colby Covington, at UFC 245 on December 14, 2019. Despite both athletes being mostly offensive wrestlers, the fight did not include any grappling and contained high-paced offences in the striking instead.
After a fight often referred to as a five-round “slugfest,” Kamaru Usman knocked down his opponent twice before finishing him with strikes in the fifth round to be declared the winner via technical knockout, which set the record for the latest finish in UFC welterweight history. This fight earned both participants the Fight of the Night award.
Kamaru Usman was scheduled to defend his title for the second time against long-time teammate and two-time No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu World Champion Gilbert Burns on July 12, 2020, at UFC 251.
Both being originally from the same camp – Sanford MMA – Usman opted to train under Trevor Wittman heading into the fight.
On July 3, 2020, the media revealed that Gilbert Burns had tested positive for COVID-19, and he was subsequently removed from the card. On July 5, 2020, the media reported that Jorge Masvidal had stepped in on short notice and served as a replacement for Gilbert Burns.
The card reportedly generated 1.3 million pay-per-view buys in the United States, the most since UFC 229 in October 2018. Kamaru Usman was again scheduled to defend his title against BJJ World Champion Gilbert Burns on December 12, 2020, at UFC 256.
However, on October 5, 2020, the media reported that Kamaru Usman had pulled out from the bout, citing more time needed to recover from undisclosed injuries. The bout was postponed to February 13, 2021, as the headliner for UFC 258.
Kamaru Usman defended his title for the third time, as he won the fight via technical knockout in the third round, surpassing the record of the former UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St-Pierre for the largest win-streak in the division with thirteen.
This win earned him the Performance of the Night award. For his fifth title bout, he rematched against Jorge Masvidal for the UFC Welterweight Championship on April 24, 2021, at UFC 261 in Florida.
He successfully defended his title after knocking out Jorge Masvidal in the second round, becoming the first to do so in the UFC. This win earned Kamaru Usman his fourth Performance of the Night bonus award.
He rematched Colby Covington for the UFC Welterweight Championship on November 6, 2021, at UFC 268. He retained his championship, being declared the winner via unanimous decision.
Kamaru Usman is scheduled to rematch Leon Edwards on August 20, 2022, at UFC 278 for the UFC Welterweight Championship in Salt Lake City, Utah. He returned to Sanford MMA to prepare for the upcoming bout.
Born to a Muslim father and a Christian mother, Kamaru Usman identifies as a Muslim. His father, Muhammed Nasiru Usman, who had previous convictions in Tarrant County for theft and drunk driving, was convicted in May 2010 of various offences, including health care fraud and money laundering, related to a health care fraud scheme.
He was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment and ordered to pay US$1,300,000 in restitution and was released from FCI Seagoville on March 16, 2021.
Kamaru Usman is married to Eleslie Dietzsch, a Brazilian entrepreneur.
Kamaru Usman and his wife have a daughter, Samirah Usman, who was born in 2014.
The net worth of Kamaru Usman is estimated to be around US$3 million, and that will only increase with more fights under his belt.
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