Kamaru Usman’s Flag- What Does it Stand For?

Published 04/24/2021, 10:16 AM EDT


UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman is ready to face ‘BMF’ Jorge Masvidal at UFC 261. Their bout will headline the April 24 event at Jacksonville, Florida.

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Usman will defend the title against Masvidal in a rematch from last year, where he won via unanimous decision. He is still undefeated in the UFC in 13 matches.

However, there is one more thing associated with him- he always makes his entrance in the ring with a Nigerian flag wrapped around.

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Kamaru Usman and the Nigerian flag

Usman was born in Auchi, Nigeria. After his father got a job as a pharmacist in Dallas, Texas, he moved to the US when he was 8 years old. Although he has US nationality along with Nigerian nationality, he has stuck with his roots and enters with a Nigerian flag wrapped in all his fights.

The ‘Nigerian Nightmare’ believes this sport has given him a platform to represent Nigeria and spread a message. Coming from Nigeria, there were fewer opportunities to grow.

In a UFC interview, he said, “Coming from Nigeria, there is not a lot of opportunities…we had to walk miles to get water….I was able to experience life in its raw form.” He further added he now can elevate himself, his family, and his countrymen.

“Why would I not give hope and motivate and inspire the other kids growing up?”, he told. His message is simply to make them know life can change if hard work is put in.

While speaking to Fansided, Usman had iterated his idea of hoisting his Nigerian flag and championship gold at the same time in front of his native crowd. “It’s not far away. It’s kind of how life is. Everything is an opportunity and things happen at the right time. It’s not far away. It’s just basically it will happen when the time is right.” he had said.

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Usman was the first African-born champion in the UFC. After that, Israel Adesanya and Francis Ngannou followed suit and became middleweight and heavyweight champions, respectively. All these fighters have surely inspired millions of fellow Africans and will continue to inspire them.

This Saturday, the ‘Nigerian Nightmare’ will again enter the octagon wrapped with his flag and will be determined to do what he has been doing for a long time. Remain Undefeated. Can the Nigerian uphold the faith of his native people and keep the title?

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Akshyay Srichandan Mahapatra

126 articles

Akshyay Mahapatra is a UFC author for EssentiallySports. He wished to combine his passion for the UFC (that he has been following since 2008) as well as his love for writing. This motivated him to enter the world of combat sports journalism.

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