Usman will meet Rafael dos Anjos in “The Ultimate Fighter 28 Finale” on Nov. 30 at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. A decisive victory over dos Anjos would move the Hard Knocks 365 standout one step closer to the title shot he covets. As Usman approaches his critical showdown with dos Anjos, here are five things you might not know about the 31-year-old welterweight contender:
1. He comes from Nigeria.
Usman was born on May 11, 1987 in Benin City, the capital of Edo State in southern Nigeria. When he was 5, Usman and his family emigrated to America in search of a better life. Despite leaving at such a tender age, “The Nigerian Nightmare” still identifies as Nigerian. Being draped in a Nigerian flag has become a staple of the brash combatant’s walkouts. Usman’s successes in the cage have seen him gain a strong following back in his homeland, where the nascent sport is just starting to take off.
2. He was a talented wrestler.
Prior to becoming a professional MMA fighter, Usman was a wrestler. He initially excelled in the sport while at school. During his tenure at Bowie High School in Arlington, Texas, Usman compiled a 53-3 wrestling record. After graduating, Usman went to the University of Nebraska at Kearney. There, he continued wrestling competitively. His college accolades include earning NCAA Division II All-America honors in each of the three years he was at the school. He was also the 2010 NCAA Division II national champion and a member of the University World Team that same year. During his days on the wrestling mat, Usman went by the moniker “Marty.”