UFC welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman went on Joe Rogan’s podcast to talk about a variety of topics. And, one topic they touched on was how Usman got the nickname that Ben Askren loves to call him, ‘Marty from Nebraska.’
Well, Usman gave the full in-depth answer to Rogan, and like Askren has been saying, this is what he went by.
“[My high school wrestling coach] is reading the roll sheet calling names and he goes, ‘Kfam..Kamar… Who the? Who is this kid? Who the f*ck is this kid?’” Kamaru Usman shared on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast. “And I’m like, ‘That’s me, coach…’ That’s your name?! I’m like yeah, he’s like, ‘I’m not saying that!’ Cause my full name is Kamarudeen. He’s like, ‘I’m not gonna say that! Like, Kamardien, Kamardy… I’m gonna call you Marty,’ And I’m just like, ‘Yeah sure, coach…’
“I’m 5-foot-3, 100-pounds, I’m scared of this guy and I’m like sure. I mean, you’re a kid, you don’t care. You’re gonna have nicknames growing up. Now the whole team’s calling me Marty. I love that coach, he essentially changed the course of my life.
“It seemed to work,” He continued. “It worked so well to where… This is the thing about nicknames, if you’re a guy who’s just a regular average guy and you suck… Your name dies with you. You move on, no one cares. But if you’re doing something incredible, something spectacular, that name lives on.
“So now Marty went from just everyone on the team calling me Marty to where people knew about the wrestling, around the wrestling circuit in high school they’re calling me Marty. ‘Oh, Marty, that kid’s good,’ And now college coaches are calling like, ‘I wanna recruit this kid… This Kamarudeen kid. Oh! Marty?’ So now they all know me as Marty. So now I go to college, and all the coaches are calling me Marty… And now the college team is calling me Marty. Now here’s the situation with this whole Ben Askren thing… Like I just mentioned, if I was just a regular guy who sucked, no one cares. No one knows your name, you die out. But because I made waves… I was that Marty kid that wrestled at Nebraska that was beating the sh*t out of everyone. Division I, II, II, NIA, JuCo, it doesn’t matter. Ben knows of me.”