Nigeria’s Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya has received congratulatory messages from former vice-president and two-time presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar as well as sports minister, Sunday Dare, following his latest victory in The Octagon.
Megasportsarena.com gathered that Atiku and Dare disclosed in their separate celebratory messages that they were excited seeing how Adesanya retained his belt with a second round knock-out of Brazil’s Paulo Costa with a dominating performance this past Saturday in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The minister and former number two citizen of the country joined other Nigerians in reeling out accolades for New Zealand-based Adesanya, who made Costa static with several kicks to the challenger’s leg, following which a powerful left-hand to the temple pout the Brazilian down.
With Adesanya then riding his foe on the mat and pummeling him at will, the referee had to step in to save ‘The Eraser’ and ‘The Last Style Bender,’ who hails from Odogbolu in Ogun State and never shies away from saying how proud he is of his Nigerian heritage, moved to 20-0 on his fight card.
While the first round of last weekend’s fight saw limited action, things got intense in the second round, with Adesanya dealing more purposeful blows at his opponent and eventually knocked him out, which makes it the 20th victory in the champ’s career and he is yet to suffer any defeat.
This comes about two years after he presented the UFC belt to former governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, when the mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter travelled home to Nigeria for the first time in 16 years.
During his visit, Adesanya declared that he wants Nigeria or any other country in Africa to host a UFC fight night sometime in the near future and he would love to compete on the main event as the home lad; but his next target for now is to tango Jared Cannonier, who has a forthcoming date with Robert Whittaker in his quest to clear out the middleweight division.
Before then, Adesanya will cherish sweet words from two leading political figures in Nigeria, as Atiku hailed ‘The Last Style Bender’ for his efforts on Saturday, while Dare congratulated the UFC champ for once again keeping his father’s country high on the global map through his now highly-celebrated achievements in The Octagon.
Atiku posted: “Israel Adesanya, @stylebender just handed Nigeria its best 60th independence anniversary gift. Congratulations, champion #UFC253;’ while Dare wrote on his verified Twitter handle: “UFC- Isreal Adesanya wins again. Second round knockout! Middle Weight Champion of the World! Nigeria in the podium again. Shout out to Lagos!”