UFC Champ Kamaru Usman Joins Black Panther: Wakanda Forever in Guest Role

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has cast reigning UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman in a guest role.

Usman will make his feature film debut in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever which already boasts a star-studded cast comprising the likes of Angela Bassett, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Winston Duke, Martin Freeman, and Tenoch Huerta.

The news was first reported by former heavyweight champ and color commentator Daniel Cormier at the UFC 277 weigh-in show. Cormier himself is preparing for his small-screen debut with Paramount’s Warrior spinoff series. Usman has yet to respond to the announcement, but MMA Fighting and his manager Ali Abdelaziz have seemingly confirmed the news via Twitter.

“Never listen to nobody who says you can’t dream, because this young boy from Nigeria, his dreams are coming true, all you have to do is work hard.”

Kamaru “The Nigerian Nightmare” Usman, as his nickname suggests, is of Nigerian heritage and moved to the US at the age of 8. Usman was a prolific wrestler during his school and college years and later transitioned into MMA. He now holds an impressive 21-1-0 record and is one of the best mixed martial artists on the planet. While Usman certainly possesses the physical attributes of a real-life Black Panther, it’s unlikely he’ll be playing the superhero, though it has been his longtime wish to do so. There is currently no word on the extent of Usman’s involvement in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

Kamaru Usman was awarded fighter of the year in 2021 thanks to his three dominant and violent title defenses against Gilbert Burns, Jorge Masvidal, and Colby Covington. Usman also registered the knockout of the year when he brutally slept his rival Jorge Masvidal in their rematch. As of today, Usman remains the pound-for-pound number one MMA fighter in the world though he has yet to fight this year.

Usman is getting ready to defend his welterweight title against UK native Leon Edwards at UFC 278 on Saturday, August 20, 2022, while Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will premiere on November 11, 2022.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Will Honor Chadwick Boseman’s Legacy

Marvel Studios

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was already one of the most anticipated Marvel sequels at the time of its announcement, and now it is on track to potentially be the biggest film of the year. Chadwick Boseman, whose charisma and commanding lead performance led to Black Panther’s massive box-office success in 2018, passed away in 2020 from colon cancer. Boseman had kept the diagnosis a secret even from his closest friends, so it came as a shock to the entire film industry to learn of his untimely demise.

Boseman was about to begin filming Black Panther: Wakanda Forever before his death, but Marvel decided not to recast the role and instead move forward with the film as a tribute to Boseman and his legacy. Black Panther 2 will focus on the rich, intriguing world and culture of Wakanda, which closely resembles modern-day Africa. As for who’ll succeed T’Challa as the iconic superhero, his sister Shuri (Letitia Wright) is rumored to take up the mantle of Black Panther. We’ll find out more when the movie arrives on November 11.

The official plot synopsis for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever reads:

“Queen Ramonda, Shuri, M’Baku, Okoye, and the Dora Milaje fight to protect their nation from intervening world powers in the wake of King T’Challa’s death. As the Wakandans strive to embrace their next chapter, the heroes must band together with the help of War Dog Nakia and Everett Ross and forge a new path for the kingdom of Wakanda.”