By News Team
Last Updated: 8th February 2021
Kamaru Usman returns to the UFC octagon to defend his welterweight title against former teammate Gilbert Burns at UFC 258 on Saturday.
Ahead of the UFC fight night, we take a look at Usman’s key career stats and figures.
Tale of the tape: Kamaru Usman stats
Name: Kamaru ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ Usman
Height: 6ft 0
Reach: 82 inches
Professional record: 17-1
Professional debut: 30/11/12
Kamaru Usman record
1: beat David Glover by TKO – 30/11/12
2: lost to Jose Caceres by submission – 24/05/13
3: beat Rashid Abdullah by TKO – 14/12/13
4: beat Steven Rodriguez by TKO – 31/01/14
5: beat Lenny Lovato by TKO – 04/03/14
6: beat Marcus Hicks by TKO – 18/07/14
7: beat Hayder Hassan by Submission – 12/07/15
8: beat Leon Edwards by Decision – 19/12/15
9: beat Alexander Yakovlev by Decision – 23/07/16
10: beat Warlley Alves by Decision – 19/11/16
11: beat Sean Strickland by Decision – 08/04/17
12: beat Sergio Moraes by KO – 16/09/17
13: beat Emil Meek by Decision – 14/01/18
14: beat Demian Maia by Decision – 19/05/18
15: beat Rafael dos Anjos by Decision – 30/11/18
16: beat Tyron Woodley by Decision – 02/03/19
17: beat Colby Covington by TKO – 15/12/19
18: beat Jorge Masvidal by Decision – 11/07/20
Usman v Woodley – 02/03/19
After picking off some of the leading names in the welterweight division in Demian Maia and Rafael dos Anjos during 2018, Usman was ear-marked as the latest in a long line of contenders for Tyron Woodley’s UFC title.
Woodley had defended his belt four times already and had beaten everyone there was to beat at 170lbs during his legendary career. Usman, however, fresh from a nine-fight win streak himself, was an entirely different proposition to anything he had faced before.
Usman delivered the most accomplished performance of his career to date, out-muscling Woodley in the opening rounds, dominating the clinch and damaging him in the ground exchanges. Such was the effect of this, that Usman even looked the better striker during the exchanges on the feet, which was certainly expected to be Woodley territory.
After five rounds in which the champion threatened his opponent rarely, Usman would take a deserved unanimous decision, shocking the MMA world by dethroning a champion that many had heralded as the future welterweight G.O.A.T. To this day it remains one of the most dominant performances by a challenger in a UFC title fight and one of the great UFC events.
Usman v Covington – 14/12/19
Usman’s first defence would come in the UFC 245 Main Event against rival Colby Covington. The two had ignited a politically charged rivalry in the year leading up to the fight, which served only to generate further excitement for what was already an epic clash. The UFC’s top two welterweights, with identical 15-1 records, would battle it out to be the undisputed champion of the world.
Such was the grudge between the duo, that in 24 minutes and 10 seconds of action between two men renowned for their wrestling, there wasn’t a single takedown attempt. Instead, they slugged it out on the feet, determined to best their opponent the old fashioned way.
Covington landed well in the early stages and looked fresher and sharper in the opening exchanges. Usman, however, simply did not tire and put relentless work into targeting Covington’s body in the first three rounds.
The third round would be the turning point in the fight, as Usman’s clean overhand right broke Covington’s jaw. The challenger fought on bravely, but with such significant damage he had no choice but to swing for the fences. Usman would floor his opponent with a straight right hand in the fifth minute of the final round to take the latest finish in UFC welterweight title history.
Usman v Masvidal – 11/07/20
Although the fight itself was somewhat of a disappointment to many fans, Usman’s victory over Jorge ‘Gamebred’ Masvidal will nonetheless go down as a significant scalp on the resume of the ‘Nigerian Nightmare’.
Although Usman was originally scheduled to face Gilbert Burns on Fight Island, Abu Dhabi, Masvidal was forced to step in on a week’s notice to save the main event. As a result, Masvidal was somewhat off the pace and tired in the later rounds.
Usman’s tactical performance, avoiding any opportunity for Masvidal to deploy his famous counter-striking, won little credit from fans but successfully suffocated his opponent’s offence. Particularly as Masvidal tired in the later rounds, Usman picked up the pace to take a unanimous decision and retain his welterweight title for a second time.
Usman’s next fight
After their original bout for UFC 251 was postponed, Usman’s third title defence will come against former teammate Gilbert Burns on Saturday. Should the champion find a way to win this one, he’ll surpass the great Georges St-Pierre’s record for most consecutive UFC welterweight wins (12).
Burns though will arguably provide the biggest challenge of Usman’s career thus far. Undoubtedly one of the UFC’s most impressive jiu-jitsu practitioners, the improvements Burns made to his striking prior to his return to welterweight in 2019 have made him one of the toughest all-round prospects in the sport. Since that return, ‘Durinho’ has beaten Alexey Kunchenko, Gunnar Nelson, Demian Maia and Tyron Woodley in impressive fashion and now sits as the #1 ranked welterweight in the world.
Usman will need all of his championship experience against Burns, who has never fought for a title before, and has only been five rounds once – in his most recent win against Woodley. The winner will set themselves up for a series of huge fights as the likes of Covington, Masvidal, Michael Chiesa and Nate Diaz push for future title opportunities. It’s set to be a great UFC fight night.