Kamaru Usman Biography

(Mixed Martial Artist)

Birthday: May 11, 1987 (Taurus)

Born In: Auchi, Nigeria

Kamarudeen Usman is a Nigerian American former freestyle wrestler and professional mixed martial artist. At present, he is affiliated with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), where he competes in the welterweight division. He is a former UFC Welterweight Champion and the winner of The Ultimate Fighter 21 tournament. Born in Nigeria to a middle-class family, he had a modest upbringing. His family moved to America when Kamaru was a child. While neither of his parents had any particular interest in wrestling or mixed martial arts, the young boy developed a passion for sports and started wrestling in his sophomore year as a high school student. He excelled in his amateur wrestling career, compiling a 53–3 record as a senior. He continued wrestling in college and made it to the US University World Team in 2010. However, he suffered from injuries that forced him to abandon his wrestling career. He then turned to mixed martial arts and joined UFC, where he proceeded to build a brilliant career as a mixed martial artist. As of mid-2022, he was ranked No. 1 in the UFC men's welterweight rankings. His brother is also a mixed martial artist.

Quick Facts

Nick Name: The Nigerian nightmare

Also Known As: Kamarudeen Usman, Marty Usman, The Nigerian Nightmare

Age: 36 Years, 36 Year Old Males


father: Muhammed Nasiru Usman

siblings: Kashetu, Mohammed

Partner: Eleslie Dietzsch

Born Country: Nigeria

Mixed Martial Artists Nigerian Men

Height: 6'0" (183 cm), 6'0" Males

Childhood & Early Life

Kamarudeen Usman was born on May 11, 1987, in Auchi, Nigeria, to an interfaith couple. His mother was a Christian and his father was a Muslim. The boy was raised in the Muslim tradition.

His mother was a teacher, while his father, Muhammed Nasiru Usman, served as a major in the Nigerian Army. He has two brothers named Kashetu and Mohammed. Later on, Mohammed would also grow up to become a mixed martial artist.

His father later quit the army and became a pharmacist in the United States. When Kamaru was eight, he joined his father along with his other family members. The family settled in Dallas, Texas.

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Wrestling Career

Kamaru Usman developed an early interest in sports like football and wrestling. He attended Bowie High School in Arlington, Texas, and began wrestling as a sophomore.

He excelled in his amateur wrestling career and compiled a 53-3 record as a senior. He was placed third in the Texas state championships.

He went to William Penn University, where he continued wrestling. He qualified for the NAIA national tournament in 2007 but couldn’t attend the tournament due to a snowstorm. However, he realized that his coach and many of his team members had left early without him. This enraged him and he left the university.

He eventually transferred to another institution that had previously tried to recruit him, the University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK). His successful streak continued and, in 2008, he helped the university team, the Lopers, win their first-ever team title.

He attended UNK for three years and was placed in the top three in the nation in each of these years. During this time, he was also a two-time national finalist.

In 2010, Kamaru Usman became the NCAA Division II national champion. He finished the season with a 44-1 record and 30 straight wins. He joined the United States Olympic Training Center, in the hopes of making it to the 2012 Olympic team.

Even though he was able to make it to the US University World Team in 2010, he suffered some injuries. He could not pursue his Olympic goals and failed to qualify for the 2012 US Olympic Team Trials.

After this experience, he quit wrestling. He became a wrestling coach for Team Miller in The Ultimate Fighter season 14 in 2011.

Mixed Martial Arts Career

Kamaru Usman eventually made his professional MMA debut in November 2012. He was successful as an MMA fighter and compiled a record of 5-1 while competing for many regional promotions.

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In 2015, he tried out for The Ultimate Fighter and was selected. In February of that year, it was announced that he had been chosen to fight in The Ultimate Fighter 21. He faced Michael Graves in his TUF debut and quarterfinal bout and emerged the winner via majority decision.

In the semifinals, he faced former WSOF Welterweight Champion Steve Carl, who was a lot more experienced than Kamaru Usman. He won the match via unanimous decision and made it to the finals.

He faced Hayder Hassan in the finals of The Ultimate Fighter 21 Finale on July 12, 2015. He went on to win the bout via submission in the second round, thus winning the Performance of the Night award. Impressed with his performance, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) signed him to a six-figure contract.

He made his official debut as a UFC MMA fighter in December 2015, facing Leon Edwards at UFC on Fox 17. He won the match by unanimous decision. In July 2016, he faced Alexander Yakovlev at UFC on Fox 20. The fight was largely one-sided and he went on to win.

In April 2017, he faced Sean Strickland at UFC210. He once again won the fight, continuing his winning streak. In September of the same year, he faced Sérgio Moraes at UFC Fight Night 116, winning the fight via one-punch knockout in the first round

Kamaru Usman fought former UFC Lightweight Champion Rafael dos Anjos in November 2018 at The Ultimate Fighter 28 Finale and proceeded to win the fight. This bout earned him his second Performance of the Night award.

He entered 2019 with an unbroken nine-fight-winning streak. He faced Tyron Woodley in March, in the co-main event at UFC 235. The fight was mostly one-sided, and it surprised no one when Kamaru won by unanimous decision after five rounds.

He faced long-time rival Colby Covington at UFC 245 in December 2019. He was able to knockdown Covington twice and was declared the winner via technical knockout. Both participants earned the Fight of the Night award for this bout.

He faced Leon Edwards for his title defense in August 2022 at UFC 278. Kamaru was the favorite while Edwards was the underdog in this match. However, Kamaru lost the fight, marking his first loss inside the UFC.

Family & Personal Life

Kamaru Usman was once in a relationship with Eleslie Dietzsch, a woman of Brazilian heritage. They have a daughter who was born in 2014.


He is set to play a warrior in the upcoming film Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

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