Kamaru Usman who is the new Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) champion has recounted how he used to walk miles with his grandmother to fetch water in Nigeria when he was young.
Usman on Sunday, March 3, registered his name in the history books of the UFC by becoming the first Nigerian/African to win the title. The 31-year-old mixed martial artist achieved this remarkable success in Las Vegas when he defeated holder Tyron Woodley.
“I remember the streets, I remember having to walk what seemed like miles and miles and miles to fetch water from the wells with my grandmother,” he said about growing up.
“I lived with my grandmother for a year when I was very young, and even to this day when I tell my mother events that took place, she can’t believe that I can recall that far.”
“I recall a lot of it. I recall the hard work that my family went through just to continue to live the lifestyle that we were living, which wasn’t by any means a great lifestyle.
“It was just an amazing lifestyle to instill certain values in a child,” Usman explained according to CNN.
Here are five things you should know about Kamaru Usman:
1. Kamary Usman was born in Auchi, Edo state of Nigeria and moved to the United States when he was seven.
2. He actually started his career as a wrestler while before becoming an (MMA) mixed martial arts star in America.
3. Since joining the UFC, Usman has slowly worked his way up the ranks from rookie to title challenger in the space of just a few years.
4. Like many Nigerian fighters before him, Usman is nicknamed the ‘Nigerian Nightmare,’ and is one of around five Africans in the UFC.
5. In 2010, he won a national title while in college at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. He hasn’t looked back since and now has a record 14 wins and just one loss in his mixed martial arts career, also known as MMA.