be_ixf;ym_202303 d_26; ct_100
Images of UFC 268 Fight Night at Hulu Theater Madison Square Garden in New York, New York

MMA Athlete

Kamaru Usman

Nigeria Nigeria


Some athletes are already full-fledged monsters way before joining the Monster Energy squad. In the case of Kamaru Usman, the evolution into a next-level mixed martial artist has been nothing short of scary. Known as ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’, the former U.S. collegiate national wrestling champion and Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt broke into the UFC after winning The Ultimate Fighter 21 tournament with a show-stopping performance in 2015. Mixing superior ground control, increasingly lethal striking, and perfect takedown defense into a highly evolved fighting style, Usman took the 170-pound World Championship belt at UFC 235 in March 2019 like it was inevitable. The native of Auchi, Nigeria, also broke ground as the first African champion in UFC history. From there, he only continued to get better… and scarier! Having defended his welterweight strap a handful of times, Usman reigns as the #1 pound-for-pound fighter in UFC men’s rankings. Even after going the distance and delivering spectacular knockouts against his toughest rivals, he’s still the only UFC fighter commanding a perfect takedown defense, currently riding the longest winning streak among active UFC athletes. Most importantly, Usman keeps it classy and level-headed when he’s not unleashing the beast in the Octagon. And that’s the mark of a true champion!