In an effort to shed light on the reasons for his sharing the moniker “Nigerian Nightmare” with other athletes like Christian Okoye and Samuel Peter, Kamaru Usman has provided some explanation.
Usman is a Nigerian-American mixed martial arts (MMA) veteran who is 36 years old and a former welterweight champion of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). In the meantime, Christian Okoye is a Nigerian-American former NFL player who is 62 years old, and Samuel Peter, who was born in Nigeria and currently resides in the United States, is a boxer who was a former WBC heavyweight champion and is 43 years old.
When Patrick Bet-David, the host of the PBD podcast, asked Kamaru Usman about the origin of the term “Nigerian Nightmare,” Usman responded with no explanation. As a response, Usman explained that it was a moniker that he had heard rather frequently when he was a child. In his remarks, he mentioned that it was awarded to athletes who are “more than exceptional in their field.”
In his remarks, the mixed martial arts (MMA) star mentioned that it was a nickname that a person of Nigerian origin would want for themself. The point that Usman was trying to make was that it was comparable to “a pride flag” that a Nigerian-born athlete wore around to let everyone know that they were a nightmare in their sport.
In addition, Usman mentioned that there have been a number of “Nigerian Nightmares,” which include soccer players. After that, Bet-David inquired about a couple of the most well-known ones. The mainstay of the UFC issued a response, saying:
“Christian Okoye was a ‘Nigerian Nightmare’ in the world of American football. He played for the Kansas City Chiefs.” Everyone was aware of how difficult it would be for him to deal with. In the sport of boxing, Samuel Peter holds the title of world heavyweight champion. That name is unknown to a great number of people because he did not occupy a title for an extremely, extremely lengthy time. But it’s true that dealing with him was a living nightmare.
He went on to say:
As a result, there have been a few instances of ‘Nigerian Nightmares.’ On the other hand, these are some of the athletes that I watched as I was growing up. And it was just a name that made me think, “If I ever had the chance to carry that flag and represent that name, I would absolutely love to do so.”
Take a look at the comments made by Usman below (1:30):
As a further point of interest, Kamaru Usman suggested that the moniker did not work out for him during his amateur wrestling career. This is due to the fact that amateur wrestling is not as mainstream as professional fighting. On the other hand, once he became well-known in mixed martial arts (MMA), the moniker became a part of his brand, and he believes that he has done justice to it with the accomplishments he has achieved in combat sports.
Kamaru Usman’s next fight: ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ looks to rebuild in 2024
Kamaru Usman’s tenure as the UFC welterweight title came to an end in August 2022, when he participated in a rematch against Leon Edwards. He was defeated by Leon Edwards via knockout in the fifth round. Edwards ultimately prevailed over him in the trilogy matchup, which took place in March of 2023, by a majority decision. In his most recent fight, which took place in October 2023, Usman was defeated by Khamzat Chimaev in a middleweight encounter. The contest was decided by a razor-thin majority decision.
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Although he is currently on a losing run of three fights, Kamaru Usman has pledged to make a comeback to the top of the boxing world in the year 2024. After that, a lot of people have been trying to get the UFC to schedule a rematch between Usman and Chimaev.
‘The Nigerian Nightmare’, on the other hand, has often dropped hints that he would be willing to battle Khamzat Chimaev once more, despite the fact that Chimaev is well-known for his desire to fight anyone. On the other hand, neither Usman nor Chimaev’s subsequent bouts have been officially announced as of this moment in time.