Nigeria’s Kamaru Usman became first African-born fighter to win a UFC title after pummelling Tyron Woodley in a one-sided bout at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The 31-year-old Usman, a Nigerian-born Texan and former NCAA Division II wrestler, broke into the UFC in 2015 on its long-running competition reality show.
He won his first eight UFC bouts and battered ex-champ Rafael Dos Anjos last November to earn his shot at Woodley’s belt.
Woodley (19-4-1) had been the UFC’s 170-pound champ since July 2016 and defended the belt four times, but Usman (15-1) got off to a quick start and never let up in his first career title shot.
Usman celebrated in the cage with his daughter before his hand was raised in victory.
“Can’t nobody handle me,” Usman said. “I’ve been wanting this fight, and I’ll be honest, I might not be the best striker in the world. I might not be the best wrestler in the world. But when it comes to mixing this (stuff) up, I’m the best in the world right now.”
Usman triumphed with a unanimous decision, winning 50-44 on two cards and 50-45 on the third.
All hail the King! Kamaru Usman. First Nigerian and African UFC champion.— Colin NOT Collins (ColinUdoh) March 3, 2019
No regrets staying up late to watch this. Expecting
stylebenderto join him in that pantheon soon #UFC235 #Team9jaStrong pic.twitter.com/J5nCmO4wrU
— Chisanga Malata (@Chisanga_Malata) March 3, 2019
Kamaru Usman went and did the damn thing! No mountain high enough, No valley low enough, No river wide enough should stop you from reaching your dreams, and the tears he shed showed he believed every word.
Meet our new king, UFC's Welterweight world champ. ? pic.twitter.com/vSK87s3flA
— Janine Anthony (@Chiquadiva) March 3, 2019