UFC Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman is one of the most dominant champions in the history of the UFC. He is still unbeaten inside the UFC octagon, and along the way he has taken out some very high-class opponents.
But despite the stardom around him, it hasn’t always been an easy ride for the Nigerian. Born in Nigeria, Usman shifted to America with his parents when he was 8 years old. They were in search of a better life, and eventually settled in Texas. Kamaru was making a name for himself in the wrestling community at collegiate level, while his father had started a successful ambulance company.
But things soon went south, however, as his father- Muhammad Usman- was arrested in 2009 with 14 charges of fraud. Usman claimed that his father was unware of the illegal activities that were taking place in his business, and slammed the judicial system for convicting his father. Usman’s father was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
As a result, Muhammad Usman missed his son’s rise to the apex of mixed martial arts as he had to spent those prime years in prison. In order for his father to be able to watch him fight, Usman pleaded to the UFC to not assign him fights at PPV events. But unfortunately that would not be possible as Usman soon became a household name in the UFC after becoming the champion of his division, as well rising up the pound-for-pound ranks.
His father was forced to watch him gain prominence from the confines of the prison walls. Usman ahd repeatedly talked about his regrets about his father not being able to watch him fight in the biggest stages.
In April 24, 2021, both the dream of the father and son came true as Muhammad Usman was able to watch his son fight for the first time inside the octagon after being released from prison. Usman scored one of the most brutal finishes of his career that night when he viciously knocked out Jorge Masvidal to retain his belt.
What’s Next for Kamaru Usman?
Usman is the undisputed Welterweight champion, and has been so since 2019. He has defended his crown five times already, and is set to defend the belt against former foe Leon Edwards at UFC 278. The pair had met once before in 2015, with Usman running out winner over the British fighter.
The Nigerian Nightmare is currently recovering from a hand injury, but will be looking to get the better of the #2 ranked Edwards again when they meet in Salt Lake City, Utah.