ABOUT KAMARU USMAN:
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.