It is time for battle once again as Current Welterweight champion Kamaru ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ Usman and American professional mixed martial artist, Jorge ‘Gamebred’ Masvidal prepare for their hugely anticipated sold-out 170-rematch when they face-off for the UFC 261 Welterweight championship title scheduled to take place at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida in the early hours of Sunday 25th April 2021.
In this UFC 261 title fight which sold out 15,000 tickets in fifteen minutes after the announcement was made, longtime contender, Masvidal is looking for vengeance after being defeated during their first bout in July 2020 and reigning champion Kamaru is simply looking for another solid clear-cut win. The 36-year-old Jorge who currently competes in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s Welterweight division has been competing professionally since 2003 and believes Usman is the same fighter he faced last year. “I just know that he knows that I’m going to have gas for five rounds, and he’s going to have to put up with that insane pace of me trying to just end him from start to finish”; while the Nigerian Nightmare still has a bad taste in his mouth from being unable to get his win over Masvidal the way he wanted, “It wasn’t from what people said or what people thought, it was because of what I thought and what I felt after the fight. I was still able to get the win, but not in the way that I wanted. So my goal for the rematch is simple: I don’t think I broke him in the way I wanted to break him and so that’s really what I’m after.”
With more preparation time on his hands this time, Masvidal is seeking to instigate revenge after tasting defeat to Kamaru Usman last year. The odds however are that the current Welterweight champion has the better record of the two men; having surpassed former champion Georges St-Pierre’s record for the most consecutive welterweight victories, having only lost one fight from 19 bouts in his six-year UFC career to date, whereas Masvidal has tasted defeat 14 times. Furthermore, after the champion came out on top last year, Kamaru ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ Usman is understandably the fan favourite going into this fight.
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.