Nigerian-American mixed martial artist Kamaru “The Nigerian Nightmare” Usman, 31, has been crowned as the new champion of the welterweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. He dethroned former champion Tyron “The Chosen One” Woodley, 26, at “UFC 235.”
Featuring 12 MMA bouts, “UFC 235” took place at the T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada, United States. In the co-main event of the evening, Usman challenged Woodley, the then reigning UFC Welterweight Champion.
Fighting out of Dallas, Texas, USA, Usman was coming out of a 13-bout winning streak. On the other hand, Woodley, who is fighting out of St. Louis, Missouri, USA, was coming out of four successful title defenses as the UFC Welterweight Champion.
Marc Goddard served as the referee of the championship bout. After five five-minute rounds, the bout was left in the hands of the three judges, who scored it 50-44, 50-44 and 50-45 in favor of the winner.
Goddard raised the hand of Usman. The Nigerian-American challenger was declared the winner via unanimous decision.
Winning at “UFC 235” improved Usman’s professional MMA record to 15 wins and 1 loss. On the other hand, Woodley now has 19 wins, 4 losses and 1 draw.
Woodley reigned as the UFC Welterweight Champion from July 30, 2016 to March 2, 2018. Before losing the title to Usman, the Missouri native successfully defended his belt from Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson, 36, of Simpsonville, South Carolina, USA at “UFC 205” on November 12, 2016 and at “UFC 209” on March 4, 2017, Demian Maia, 41, of Brazil at “UFC 214” on July 29, 2017 and Darren “The Gorilla” Till, 26, of Liverpool, Merseyside, England at “UFC 228” on September 8, 2018.
“UFC 235” marked Woodley’s 13th bout in the UFC. He was Usman’s 13th opponent in the promotion.
Usman joined the UFC in 2015 and is undefeated in the promotion. Before Woodley, the opponents defeated by Nigerian-American fighter in the promotion were Leon “Rocky” Edwards, 27, of England, Alexander “The Thunder of the North” Yakovlev, 34, of Russia, Sean “Tarzan” Strickland, 28, of Riverside, California, USA, Emil “Valhalla” Meek, 30, of Norway, and Brazilian fighters Warlley Alves, 28, Hayder “Hulk” Hassan, 36, Sergio “The Panther” Moraes, 36, Rafael dos Anjos, 34, and Demian Maia, 41.
Born in Benin City, Nigeria on May 11, 1987, Usman was 8 years old when he and his family moved to the U.S. He is an alum of the University of Nebraska at Kearney.
Watch Usman’s “UFC 235” post-fight interview in the octagon here: