Marty is short for Kamaru, which is short for Kamarudeen.
That’s according to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman, who is sometimes referred to as “Marty from Nebraska” by people looking to get under his skin. And by “people” we all know I mean Ben Askren.
The origin of “Marty” remained a mystery for quite some time, until Usman was invited to appear on Joe Rogan’s podcast. Aside from a candid conversation on marijuana, “The Nigerian Nightmare” explained how the nickname was started by an old high school wrestling coach.
Transcribed by My MMA News:
“He’s reading the roll sheet calling names and he goes, ‘Kfam... Kamar… Who the? Who the fuck is this kid?’ And I’m like, ‘That’s me, coach…’ He’s like, ‘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.”
“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 shit out of everyone. Division I, II, II, NIA, JuCo, it doesn’t matter. Ben knows of me.”
Knowing is half the battle.
Askren, also a decorated wrestler who competed on the Olympic level, is now part of the UFC welterweight division and could be in line to face Usman at an upcoming pay-per-view (PPV) event, depending on the outcome of the champ’s first title defense against Colby Covington.
As well as that “Funky” Robbie Lawler rematch.