Kamaru Usman is a Nigerian-American martial artist. He is best known because of his career in mixed martial arts. Celebrity Net Worth and other sources estimate that Usman has a net worth of around $3 million.
What Is Kamaru Usman’s Background?
Usman was born in Auchi. That is a city in the Nigerian state of Edo. Unsurprisingly, Auchi has a strong association with the people of the same name, though it is now home to a wider range of people with a wider range of backgrounds. Reportedly, the city is undergoing this population influx because of economic development. Something that makes sense because it is natural for people to head where opportunities exist.
Speaking of which, Usman’s family did something similar. Originally, his father was a major, while his mother was a teacher. Later, his father immigrated to study pharmacy in the United States with the intent of bringing his family over once he had managed to stabilize things. In the meantime, Usman and his brothers lived in Benin City, which would be the most populous city in the state of Edo. Indeed, Benin City is notable outside of that context because it is the fourth most populous city in the country. Interested individuals might also recognize it because British raiders hit it in 1897 before making off with the Benin Bronzes.
In any case, it is normal for people to experience difficulties when immigrating from one country to another. Some moves are easier than others. For instance, moving from Canada to the United States or vice versa. Others are more challenging, as shown by Usman’s own experiences. Like a lot of people who immigrated as kids, The Sporting News says he has stories about his difficulties. One example would be the time when he called his teacher by a slur because he thought it was her name rather than a slur.
How Did Kamaru Usman Get Started?
One can argue that Usman got started as a martial artist in high school. Oftentimes, people don’t think of wrestling as one of the martial arts. However, the fact of the matter is that it is one of the most venerable martial arts in existence. After all, the International Olympics Committee says there are cave drawings of wrestling from prehistoric times. In Usman’s case, he was too small to play football. Instead, he winded up on the wrestling team because of a wrestling coach’s suggestion. Initially, he didn’t have the smoothest experience. As the story goes, he was less than enthused about wrestling with a girl. Then, the girl proceeded to destroy him again and again, which makes sense because she was a three-time state champion. Some people would have bounced off of the sport hard under those circumstances. Usman became hooked when he realized he was starting to make progress.
Subsequently, Usman went on to do very well. He competed on the national level in college. Specifically, Usman was the NCAA Division II National Champion in 2010. Before that, he was a top-three finalist in both 2009 and 2008. Furthermore, Usman contributed to the Nebraska-Kearney Lopers’ first team title in 2008. He tried to get on the U.S. Olympic team in 2012. Unfortunately, he failed, not least because he was side-tracked by injuries. From that point forward, he started focusing on mixed martial arts.
Usman’s reason for switching to mixed martial arts was a simple one. The UFC became popular in the late 2000s. That translated into better pay for the competitors. As Usman tells it, he could expect to earn $2,500 if he managed to win a tournament of considerable difficulty. In contrast, he was training with UFC fighters who were earning $75,000 for winning a single fight. Given those numbers, it isn’t hard to see why Usman made the switch to mixed martial arts.
What Does Kamaru Usman’s Current Career Look Like?
Since then, Usman’s path hasn’t been perfectly smooth. For instance, he had to broaden his skill set, which makes sense because just his wrestling was good enough for him to make serious progress but not good enough for him to make it where he wanted to go. Still, it almost seems like an understatement to say that Usman has been very successful because he became the UFC Welterweight Champion by beating Tyron Woodley in 2019. Then, he successfully defended his title on five occasions. As such, Usman held the title until he lost his rematch with Leon Edwards in 2022.
Besides his career as a mixed martial artist, Usman doesn’t seem to be too active in other pursuits. Double Hammerfist reports that he is a cast member for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which would be the follow-up to the 2018 hit. It is unclear what this will mean for him in the future. Some athletes have managed to go from the world of sports to the world of movies. Still, they are very much the exceptions rather than the rule. There is no concrete reason to believe that Usman can pull off something similar, though this is one of those things that time will tell.
Summed up, Usman has had two major sources of income. One would be his career as a freestyle wrestler. The other would be his career as a mixed martial artist. It seems safe to say that the latter has played a much bigger role in his earnings. Yes, he was one of the top-tier competitors in freestyle wrestlers. Unfortunately, he has said that they just don’t get paid very much for it. Meanwhile, the top-tier competitors in the UFC get paid a lot more. For instance, MMA Fighting says Usman received a flat $500,000 for his rematch with Leon Edwards in 2022. That isn’t his total earnings for the match because that doesn’t include bonuses and sponsorships. Time will tell whether Usman will add further income streams by venturing into other fields.
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