There’s momentary greatness and there’s lasting greatness; one so immense and sure to go down in the history books. Following Kamaru Usman’s accomplishments this year, it’s safe to say that he is on a fast track to the latter.
There was hardly any Mixed Martial Artist in the world that had a year comparable to that of Kamaru Usman. Every combatant that was put before him was soundly defeated, and what’s more impressive is the manner in which he disposed off his competition.
Of the major titles defended in the Ultimate Fighting Championship; the biggest MMA promotion in the world, none was more riveting than the defence of the Welter Weight Championship.
While Kamaru defended his titles against every opponent put in front of him, it is noteworthy to mention that these opponents were slated to put an end to his reign. Many had their money against him and they lost the said bounty. The Nigerian Nightmare shut his critics up in grand style this year, enduring as champion much longer than even the experts thought.
His two biggest fights this year came against Coby Covington and Jorge Masvidal, both of whom fans thought would take the belt in their epic rematches. Unfortunately for them, Kamaru was able to replicate the result of both their first bouts and solidify the fact that he is simply the best within the welterweight division.
Prior to his swift victories, fans of the sport had a problem with Kamaru’s fighting style. His ground and pound style of fighting was deemed unentertaining for the sports, despite the fact that no one really complained when Khabib Nurmagomedov, a fan favorite; used the same style to ensure a resounding defeat of 13 opponents in the octagon.
To leave no room for excuses, he switched styles to southpaw; a fighting style many believe to be entertaining because it keeps one on their feet and have them exchange punches like boxers rather than slug it out on the canvas. With the southpaw stance which he was fairly new to, he was able to defeat Jorge Masvidal who is one of the division’s most proficient strikers.
The Nigerian Nightmare had three title defenses this year, and was successful in all three. His performance this year was so impressive that he was named the number 1 Pound-for-Pound Fighter in the world; the MMA way of simply saying he is the best fighter on the planet.