Kamaru Usman is very proud of his Nigerian roots, embracing his heritage at every point in his MMA career. We have often seen the former welterweight champion dressed in garbs that carry designs that belong to his culture or symbolize it in some way. The Nigerian Nightmare has even worn face paint with his native land’s flag’s colors.
Owing to the massive pride he has in his roots, Kamaru has often stated his desire to fight on a UFC Africa card. There were many rumblings about an Africa card taking place when the UFC had 3 reigning African champs – Israel Adesanya, Francis Ngannou, and Usman. However, those talks died down after 2 of them lost their belt and Ngannou left the company and was stripped.
But seemingly, Kamaru Usman has not given up on his dream of fighting at a UFC event held in Africa. On an episode of Countdown for UFC 286, Kamaru revealed that he wanted to lay the groundwork to make hosting an event there an easier undertaking. Usman stated, “There is no infrastructure there for them to easily move in and do a show.”
“So that’s exactly what I have taken upon myself to do,” said Usman defiantly. He continued, “Creating the groundwork to where they can look back and say ‘Hey, there’s already a show running there’…We’ve been setting up the infrastructure to have our own MMA organization in Nigeria called AKO, African Knockout.”
Usman apparently wants to help grow the sport in his homeland, hoping someone finds the same joy and wonder he found in the sport as a young man. And the steps he has already taken will surely help grow the sport of MMA in Africa.
How Did Kamaru Usman and his Family Come to the United States from Nigeria
Kamaru Usman was born in Auchi, a city in the Edo state of Nigeria. He said that while growing up, living conditions weren’t ideal for him and his family. This is why, in 1995, when Usman was only 8 years of age, his father, Mohammed Nasiru Usman, took their entire family to Dallas, Texas.
Champion. Immigrant. Nigerian Nightmare 🇳🇬— ESPN (@espn) April 22, 2021
Kamaru Usman has earned many titles as a UFC superstar.
Full @USMAN84kg Cover Story: https://t.co/Z4Cj9pjbzA pic.twitter.com/bK4nqZ8bm7
Kamaru’s father was formerly a major in the Nigerian army but he became a pharmacist after moving to the US. After his move to the US, Kamaru decided to take up wrestling at Bowie High School and from there, the legend of “Marty” began. He amassed an impressive 53-3 record before he left for college, even wrestling alongside Jon Jones in a senior national tournament.
His move to the US opened up many avenues in Kamaru Usman’s life that made him who he is today. And being grateful for it, Usman is trying to give back to his homeland by helping the youth there avail the same opportunities he received in America. But as he looks to honor his heritage, he must also think about his legacy and focus on beating Leon Edwards at UFC 286.
Discussion about this post