By Harrison Iyoha
History will be made in the early hours of Sunday, February 14, 2021, as 33-year-old Nigerian-American professional mixed martial artist, Kamarudeen Usman, popularly known as “The Nigerian Nightmare” competes against 34-year-old fellow professional mixed martial artist, Brazil’s Gilbert Alexander Pontes Burns popularly known as ‘Durinho’, in the Welterweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), at the UFC APEX Center in Las Vegas, USA.
The fight scheduled for Saturday, February 13, 2021, rolling into the early hours of Sunday, February 14, 2021, for the UK fans of the sport, will see one of UFC 2019’s best fighters currently ranked #1 and Black belt ranker in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, Kamaru, take on three-time World Champion, UFC ranked #3 and World Cup gold medalist, Burns, in a fight that promises to be a global show-stopper.
The exceptional and formidable UFC Welterweight Champion and the Ultimate Fighter 21 tournament winner; with statistics as at July 14, 2020, putting him at #5 in the UFC men’s Pound-for-Pound rankings; has fought in 18 matches in the Mixed Martial Arts; won 17 (of which 7 were by knockouts, 1 by submission and 9 by decision) and lost just one. His opponent, Gilbert Burns, on the other hand, has won 19 matches (of which 8 were by submission, 6 knockouts and 5 by decision) and lost three.
Being the first-ever Nigerian-born champion in UFC history, the Ultimate Fighter 21 tournament winner, has a long line of accomplishments in the NCAA where he won the NCAA Division II Wrestling Championship (174 lbs, in 2010) and secured a triple year win in the NCAA Division II Wrestling All-American (174 lbs) from 2008 to 2010.
With two successful title defences, one-time Fight of the Night, latest finish in UFC Welterweight history and tied for most consecutive wins in welterweight division (12), the ‘Nigerian Nightmare’ will surely have earned the bragging rights for a sport in which he has excelled in to be a favourite in this superbly highly-anticipated showdown; and should he win this fight, it will be the longest ever win-streak in the Welterweight division.