Like many current mixed martial artists, UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman found his start in wrestling. Born in Nigeria, Usman immigrated to the United States as a child. He became involved in wrestling in high school and attended college at the University of Nebraska at Kearny, where he became a three-time DII All-American, a two-time finalist and a 2010 NCAA champion.
After college, Usman spent a stint training freestyle at the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
At the 2011 Olympic Team Trials Qualifier, Usman clashed with a wrestler now familiar to many U.S. fans, Pat Downey. At the time, Downey was only 19 years old. The following September, Downey took silver at the Junior World Championships in Pattaya, Thailand. In 2019, Downey made the Senior World Team and represented the U.S. at the World Championships in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.
Usman will be defending his belt this Saturday at UFC 251 against Jorge Masvidal. Before he does, watch him take on Downey below: