We will produce more MMA champions for Nigeria, says Usman | The Guardian Nigeria News


Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu (fourth from right); UFC welterweight champion Kamarudeen ‘Kamaru’ Usman (fourth from left); Lagos State Sports Commission (LSSC) Chairman Sola Aiyepeku (third from left) and Kamaru’s crew on a visit to Lagos House, Marina… yesterday.

Kamara Usman is arguably one of the most famous faces in kickboxing. The UFC welterweight champion has won everything in his class and in some circles he is considered the best pound for pound fighter in mixed martial arts (MMA).

However, with all the fame and fortune his talent brought him, Usman was restless and struggled to get back to his roots, first, to share his experience with “my people” and then to find a way to hire more young Nigerians into the lucrative world of kickboxing.

Dubbed “The Nigerian Nightmare” by his admirers, friends and foes, Usman has made it his mission to give back to Nigerians for their support and prayers over the years. He arrived in Nigeria over the weekend and met with stakeholders to find a way to realize his dream of building a sustainable sports culture in the country.

The Auchi star, from Edo state, was in Lagos yesterday as part of his working tour of the country and one of the messages he preached at the Wheatbaker Hotel, Ikoyi , is the need to empower young Nigerians by providing them with a conducive environment. for them to hone their skills.

Usman revealed that his side had started discussing with the relevant agencies how best to fulfill his dream of training future champions of Nigeria, adding: “When we first arrived we had to see the powers that be, the decisions-makers.

“We went there, had a dialogue with them and came to an agreement. We created that starting point, now it’s up to my team to put the plan in place and show them what we want to do and eventually start the dream.

Drawing on his experience in the United States, Usman said he has the option of choosing wrestling over other sports because he has multiple choices.

“When we came to America my older brother Dr Usman Kash chose football… he also played really well and did track and field. I tried, but I couldn’t. So I decided to choose something else. And America has different sporting opportunities for young people to practice and excel. I fell into wrestling which eventually led to MMA. That is why we want to give young Nigerians different opportunities to choose the sport they want. “

In addition to helping discover new talent in Nigeria, Usman is also involved in the careers of other Africans in MMA, saying the dream is to see fighters from the continent dominate the sport.

“We have a lot of Africans in the UFC and three of the champions are from West Africa. We exchange ideas when one of us is fighting.

“Razaq, the Ghanaian star, is my brother and he comes to my camp to train. He is with me because we live in the same Texas. I also often speak with Sadiq but he lives a little further away… we have ways of communicating to share ideas, ”he said.

Explaining his decision to stop wrestling for MMA, Usman said that although his parents and associates questioned his choice due to the brutality of the sport, he chose MMA out of love for the game.

“It’s something I chose to do on my own. I saw an opportunity and thought it was something I wanted to do. So I went to get the knowledge and worked as hard as I could to put myself in the best position to reach the top.

After dominating the welterweight class for several years, Usman is unwilling to move on to the middleweight class. His decision depends on the need to preserve Nigeria’s participation in the sport.

He said: “The next weight class is middleweight and Israel Adesanya holds that belt. As I said before, two Nigerians with two different belts are better than a Nigerian with two belts.

Pound for pound, many followers of the sport believe Usman is the number one fighter, but records don’t show it. They say John Jones is number one, a claim that doesn’t bother the Nigerian fighter.

He said, “This is just the UFC rating. They have their own ranking, but we have ESPN which is bigger and has its own rake system and I’m number one there. Everywhere I go, I am celebrated, as the number one in the world. So I’m going to keep doing my thing, keep on excelling until I give the UFC no option but to recognize that I’m number one.

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