During his stretch as a Collegiate wrestler, Kamaru Usman was commonly known by the monicker 'Marty'. Usman claims that he was christened 'Marty' by his high school wrestling coach.
In the past, Kamaru Usman's rivals, namely Colby Covington and Ben Askren, have often tried to provoke the champion by calling him 'Marty'. During the buildup for his fight with Covington at UFC 245, Usman claimed to be unfazed by the former interim champion's insinuations.
"He [Colby Covington] thinks that it's an insult. But it's not an insult at all," said Kamaru Usman.
Kamaru Usman further elaborated on why he got named 'Marty' in high school. The former NCAA Division 2 champion joined the Bowie High School wrestling team in his sophomore year. Here, Usman's wrestling coach named him 'Marty', as he was struggling to pronounce the Nigerian's first name, Kamarudeen.
"You know, just like every kid growing up, we all had nicknames. And, when I decided to go into wrestling at the age of fifteen, my name was a little tough for my coach. And I'm in Dallas, Texas, and my coach is a buzz-cut Marines guy. He's like, 'I'm not going to say that. You look like a Marty, I'm going to call you Marty. I'm like, 'Sure, coach, alright,'" said Usman.
"I was in there to learn and one thing [Covington] is failing to realize, he's thinking it's an insult. The reason he knows that name and I continued to thrive and excel at what I was doing... more and more people knew the name. So now, it's not just in high school, my whole teammates and everyone across the state is calling me that," added Kamaru Usman.
Check out: Kamaru Usman's Career Earnings
Who is Kamaru Usman going to fight next?
At UFC 261, Kamaru Usman is set to share the Octagon with Jorge Masvidal for the second time. The two combatants initially met at UFC 251 where The Nigerian Nightmare cruised to a unanimous decision victory.
Although Usman was victorious, the feud against Masvidal remains unsettled. 'Gamebred' was brought in to fight the titleholder on six days' notice. The Miami native has since adamantly demanded a rematch with a full training camp.
Come April 24, Jorge Masvidal will get his second shot at claiming the championship, with 15,000 fans in attendance.