UFC welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman who touched down in Abuja a few days ago, has been engaged in a beehive of activities including media rounds and general Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities aimed at giving back to his country of birth.

The Auchi, Edo State-born professional mixed martial artist who explained that giving back was a big deal for him, was a sight to behold in Lagos, as he engaged with indigent children in the slums through the Lagos Food Bank organisation. On that positively vibrant day when he visited the Lagos Food Bank warehouse, Kamaru Usman singlehandedly distributed food to an excited 1000 indigent children.

A delighted Michael A. Sunbola, founder, Lagos Food Bank, said it was an incredible feeling to partner with a global brand like Kamaru Usman to feed vulnerable children. ’’His physical presence at the field does not only show his support but will also bring more publicity to what we do which in turn will feed more food-insecure children. We look forward to more collaboration with his team in future”.

In his own words: “Being born in a place like Nigeria helped mould me into the man I am today,” Kamaru Usman has never lost sight of his Nigerian and African roots. With fond memories of his Nigerian childhood experiences including helping his mum, a school teacher and shop-owner, to farm, growing the food they ate, hawking ‘’fufu’’, walking several miles with his grandmother to fetch water from a well, the world champion and Edo state native returns to his home state, in a visit indeed long overdue. The champion who is humbled by the country’s love and support plans to visit home more often and provide support in any way that he can to make lives better for the less-privileged in Nigeria


Kamarudeen Usman, simply known as Kamaru Usman was born on the 11th of May 1987 in Auchi, Edo State, Nigeria, to a father who was in the Nigerian Army and a mother was a teacher. Kamaru grew up with two brothers, Kashetu and Mohammed, of whom the former is a Doctor of Pharmacy and the latter, a mixed martial artist in Benin City.

Kamaru and his family immigrated to the United States when he was 8 years old and started wrestling in his sophomore year in high school, at Bowie High School in Arlington, Texas. When Kamaru’s wrestling coach at the time had trouble pronouncing his first name Kamarudeen, he got the nickname “Marty” which stuck when he joined the team during his amateur wrestling career. Kamaru Usman attended William Penn University for one year and later transferred to the University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK), which had previously tried to recruit him under the advisement of then-UNK wrestler, Tervel Dlagnev and subsequently helped the Lopers win their first-ever team title in 2008.

In 2010, Kamaru became the NCAA Division II national champion at 174 pounds, finishing his season with a 44-1 record. Shortly after his folkstyle, (a form of wrestling practised by men at the college and university level in the United States) career was over, Usman turned his attention to freestyle wrestling and became a resident of the United States Olympic Training Center, with hopes of making the ’12 Olympic team. Despite making the US University World Team in 2010, Usman was sidetracked by injuries and eventually abandoned his Olympic goal, turning his attention to mixed martial arts instead. Former National Football League (NFL) star Christian Okoye, who had the nickname “The Nigerian Nightmare” trademarked, gave his blessing for Usman to use it.

Kamaru and his wife have a daughter; Samirah who was born in 2014.