How did Kamaru Usman earn his 'Nigerian Nightmare' nickname?

Kamaru Usman is the first African-born UFC champion
Kamaru Usman is the first African-born UFC champion
Rajneesh Suhas Reddy

UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman's nickname 'The Nigerian Nightmare' suits what he has done to all of his opponents in the UFC. However, the nickname originally belonged to retired NFL star and Kansas City Chiefs running back, Christian Okoye, who allowed Kamaru Usman to use it.

During an exclusive interview with 'The Undefeated' in 2019, Kamaru Usman made the revelation about his fighting nickname. Usman said that the nickname symbolized what an elite athlete he was.

Okoye had trademarked the nickname for himself but allowed Usman to use it anyway. Okoye later sent a text message to The Undefeated and backed Kamaru Usman's claim.

“The name symbolizes the most elite athlete. (Former NFL star) Christian Okoye was ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ in his era because he was one of the elite running backs in football,” Kamaru Usman told The Undefeated.

Kamaru Usman (18-1 MMA, 13-0 UFC) became the first African-born champion in UFC history by defeating Tyron Woodley at UFC 235 in March of 2019. The Nigerian Nightmare has since defended his title three consecutive times against Colby Covington, Jorge Masvidal, and Gilbert Burns respectively.

Usman is one of the most dominant fighters on the UFC's roster right now. Kamaru Usman's third-round TKO win over Burns at UFC 258 in February marked the seventeenth consecutive win of his fighting career and his thirteenth straight win in the UFC.

The Nigerian Nightmare has surpassed former champion Georges St-Pierre's record (12 wins) for most consecutive wins in the UFC's welterweight division.

Kamaru Usman is set to fight Jorge Masvidal at UFC 261 on April 24th

Kamaru Usman defeated Jorge Masvidal in dominant fashion at UFC 251 in July of 2020 and there is no love lost between the pair. The fight was booked on six days' notice and left many unanswered questions despite the lopsided result.

Both fighters have routinely taken jabs at each other on social media since the bout took place and Masvidal promised a different outcome with a full camp.

Although 'Gamebred' has not competed in the UFC since losing to Kamaru Usman, the champ called out Masvidal for a rematch after defeating Burns at UFC 258. The rematch will headline the UFC 261 event on April 24th.

The event will be broadcast live from the Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. It will be the first event during the COVID-19 pandemic to have an audience in attendance.

Edited by Ritwik Kumar
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