Under the bright Zuffa lights, Usman has barely lost a round in his entire 10-fight UFC career, but there was one particular round that he lost the moment he tapped out in what was only his second professional MMA fight. Earlier this year in an appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience MMA Show, Usman walked listeners through exactly what happened, thus compensating for the absence of any available footage of the bout:
“I get in the fight, I throw a one-two…his legs are there, I hit him with the one-two, boom-boom, double leg,” Usman begins his narration. “Like, within 15 seconds…boom, threw him down, full mount. And I’m kinda throwing punches. I didn’t really know what I was doing. I’m throwing punches, and I’m trying to elbow him. And Jose Caceres is like, I think, 6’2”…I don’t know, he’s well taller than me…long limbs.
“I’m in full mount. He throws his legs around my body,” Usman continued. “I never seen no shit like that before. My mind, at that time, was like, oh, shit, what’s this shit? I didn’t know what to do. So I start kind of panicking in my mind. I don’t know what to do. I’m like, fuckin’ get out, which is what you don’t do.
“So I turn my body, I’m trying to get up and walk out, which is what you don’t do. And so he basically just climbed up my back. Boom. We’re not even sweating yet. Boom, he’s on my back; I’m standing up with the backpack on. He’s six-foot somethin’, he’s got one foot on the ground, one foot wrapped around me, he’s fighting.
“And I think I hold him off for another, like, minute and a half. And I’m fighting this choke. All the while, I’m thinking, like, oh, shit. I can’t go down because I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing down there as well. So I don’t really know the defense down there.
“So if I go down, that just might make it worse. I don’t know the defense. And this dude looks like he knows what he’s doing behind me. He’s got a few fights. And I’m kind of scared. And I’m fighting it. Now, I’m standing up, and my feet are getting heavy. It’s getting shaky.
“And I’m just like, ‘Oh, shit. I’m about to lose,'” Usman concluded.
And lose he did. But the very bright side for the Nigerian Nightmare is the fact that he has never lost since. And the cherry on top is that he went on to become the first Nigerian UFC world champion six years later.
How long do you believe Kamaru Usman’s loss to Jose Caceres will be the only L on his record?