Wednesday September 9, 2015– Born in Nigeria and raised in Arlington Texas a future star was Born. Kamaru Usman (6-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) is one of the deadliest upcoming welterweights in all of MMA. Having finally reached the UFC his story to the top begins back in high school when he was a wrestler, Kamaru stood out at wrestling which helped him get into college. While continuing to wrestle in college, Usman who was a big fight fan started to think about taking his talents up another level to MMA and fighting. Meeting up with friend and fellow UFC star Jake Ellenberger who would fight during the summers. Kamaru started to train himself a little more than just wrestling.
While training with team USA and the olympic training center Usman knew it was time to take his talents else were to take the next step in his career. After visiting with Reign Trainging Center, and Team Takedown Usman found himself in florida With The Blackzilians. When meeting with the coaches he said “They Made me feel Comfortable Like a big Family”. While Beginning to train with the Blackzilians Kamaru got the chance to coach on The Ultimate Fighter season 14.
In his first professional fight he earned a dominating win over David Glover by way of TKO in the 2nd round. As i asked about his feelings about being in his first professional fight he said “Little Nervous, But Stood Tall and Handled Business”. While Being one of the top talents at the Blackzilians gym there are other big name stars that train there as well such as Anthony Rumble Johnson #1 ranked Light Heavyweight Contender in the world, and legends of MMA such as Vitor Belfort.
The Blackzilians also have some big name coaches as well that are well-known around MMA, so the opportunity to learn new things and get extra help is endless, there’s always new things and ways to help perfect your craft and with successful fighters and top of the line coaches the sky’s the limit. When the chance to be on the latest season of The Ultimate Fighter Usman at first denied the chance to compete. But after speaking to his managers and coaches the Blackzilians knew they needed their Stallion to help lead them to victory over ATT. On the Premiere episode Kamaru was the first guy to fight for the Blackzilians, stepping up and making weight without any issues he squared off against ATT young star Michael Graves.
Reliving that first fight Usman thought back “I was Nervous and stiff but knew i was going to win! I had to win”. After one more victory on the Show Usman found himself headlining the finals for all the marbles against Hayder Hassan. Hayder who was coming in possibly hotter than any fighter with going undefeated on The Ultimate Fighter he knew he would have to step up for ATT and bring home the gold.
On July 12th in vegas the cage door closed behind them, I asked Kamaru did you feel any more nervous than you have before i mean this is it your headlining a UFC event. He responded “This is just another fight. I don’t look at it as a huge deal. It’s another cage door slamming another fight that I had to win” and that is what he did by submitting Hassan in the second round, in the view of my eyes and many others a very dominating win. Getting that win on The Ultimate Fighter was mit only for himself and the Blackzilians, but also showed the world that the Nigerian Nightmare was here to stay. Now a singles fighter in the UFC Usman finds himself in the spotlight again at UFC Fight Night Orlando were Kamaru will be facing Leon Edwards a welterweight with a record of (10-2) and coming from 2 straight victories Usman will have his hands full.
Going into camp Kamaru will stick to his schedule, With his regular classes and workouts. Wrestling, Jui-Jitsu, striking, and strength and conditioning. Sticking to his strict diet plan it’s just another day at the office for The Nigerian Nightmare. Preparing for a fight is never easy especially with someone as dynamic as Edwards. Extra training occurs by preparing for your opponents strength and weaknesses. The visual part of his training camp is the visual part, being a huge fight fan Usman has no problem studying and watching all of Edwards fights.”He is a very Dynamic Striker and very Patient. you have to wait for the very best moment to strike”. When He squares up with Edwards in December in Orlando he will have his hands full but you better believe The Nigerian Nightmare will be ready for a fight. I asked him about how it feels being on such a big card with a big main event title fight he said ” It’s nothing new to me, when i was fighting in Legacy it prepared me for fights like this with the loud crowds, and the announcers and microphone talking it’s nothing new to me Just another fight I’m going to win.”
Kamaru’s ultimate goal is to one day hold the UFC welterweight title. With having no wishes to move weight or fight any where else his full desire “Is to win the title defend it a couple of times and see where life takes me next”. I asked Usman who is a family man, about how it is splitting MMA life and family life he said “It works out perfectly” he spends the morning with his daughter and takes her with him to the gym when its time to get to work. I asked him how it feels to fight in front of his family and his response really lets you into a fighters mind during a fight ” I don’t think about it. When i step into that octagon all i can think of protecting myself and doing what ever it takes to win. I know when the fights over they’ll be there. I can take them home and be a family man, but when it’s time my focus is in the cage”.
Kamaru Usman has one goal in MMA and thats to hold up the gold. With pushing himself everyday looking up to fighter like Rashad Evans, Dominik Cruz, and the Spider Anderson Silva Usman prides himself with nothing but the best and will do whatever it takes to be the king of the welterweight division.
By: Rick San Bartolome