Nigeria’s Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman has revealed how proud he is to be in indigene of Auchi in Edo State.
Megasportsarena.com reports that ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ stated as much during an official reception he had from Edo State deputy governor, Philip Shuaibu.
Receiving Usman on behalf of Governor Godwin Obaseki, Shuaibu, who sometimes plays football competitively with Insurance FC of Benin City, said the UFC champion has become a role model for youth in the state.
Shuaibu went on to read Governor Obaseki’s message prepared for the epoch-making occasion in the capital, Benin City, for which he reveled that his boss was unavoidably absent, but sent his best wishes to the UFC fighter and urged him to further key into his administration’s agenda for sports.
Obaseki reassured that his administration will sustain reforms and programmes to ensure that more young people in the state realise their potentials to the fullest, even as he promised to collaborate with the UFC champion to make Edo youths become stars in their various outings.
The governor added: “We are happy today to receive you and are very proud to have you as our own. We are specifically happy to have you at a time that we are bringing back the sports’ glory of the state.
“You are a role model to the younger generation to emulate. We will continue to support people like you because you can be a promoter of sports for the state. You are someone to look up to in the state and nation at large.
“As a state, we will collaborate with you and continue to support you. Our administration is working hard to combine education with sports, which prompted us to ensure reforms of the education and sports sectors.
“Edo used to be home of sports, as most of our sports administrators passed through the school of sports in the state. Over time, they went to sleep; but this administration is reviving sports in the state and restoring its lost glory.
“We used the just concluded National Sports Festival to relaunch ourselves back into sports and your coming at this time is a boost to sports development in the state. Sports is good for our health and we will encourage the young ones to get more involved as they can become great through sports.
“I developed an interest in combat sports and discovered that it’s a sport of discipline. If all our youths can be disciplined in their field, it will help us check the country’s criminality rate. We would like to partner with you to see how you can join us and make champions out of our youths.”
Usman responded by expressing delight to be in his home state, adding: “I am happy to be here and it’s a pleasure to be back home. Coming home has been at the back of my mind and I am proud to be from Auchi, Edo State.
“I have been in America for long and feel so compelled to represent the country; I feel compelled to carry on the pride. It’s been a while and I have been waiting to come back home and hopefully, will come home more frequently.”