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Isreal Adesanya, Pride of Naija

Benjamin Ukpabi



Nigerian-born UFC middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya loves to talk tough. Like Jackie Chan, one of his boyhood icons, he knows how to entertain his audience. He is not only fast with his hands but also with his tongue sometimes calling time on his fights. Still undefeated after 20 fights WITH 15 KO, Adesanya often rambles out in his native Yoruba dialect while eulogising his awesome hand and leg strikes that have been describes as one of the fastest in the trade.


Adesanya knew what he wanted from teenager and if he had not make it as a fighter, perhaps he would have been in big trouble fighting.

Recalling his humble background from backstreet Lagos; Nigeria’s most populous metropolitan. “I was born in Lagos and really a handful for my parents because all I wanted to do is to fight. I enrolled into karate classes at the Surulere National Stadium as soon as I could get there on my own but my mum wasn’t happy. In fact she made me stop going when I began to kick things around the house.”

His younger brother, David, corroborated his words; “He was always the most rebellious. My parents could not get him to do what they wanted him to do, and even if they did, he really didn’t like it.”

When Adesanya did not show enough attention to school, his parents who lived from hand to mouth decided to enrol him as a mechanic apprentice, but he wouldn’t hear of it.

“I was not afraid to tell them (his parents) that I won’t do it,” said Adesanya who said of his parents “My mother was a nurse, my father an entrepreneur—a hustler, working in everything from dries cleaning to real estate.”

“At a point he found something he’s really interested in; dancing and he became a member of a group always going out to dance. He’s always been obsessed with performing,” David said.

Adesanya and his family left the country when he was 11. The original plan was to move to the United States, but it was 2001, and 9/11 put an end to that idea. Instead, they pulled up stakes for New Zealand, where his family believed the schools would be better.

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Upon arrival in New Zealand, Adesanya resumed his passion for karate sparked by his great mentors Ong-Bak, Jackie Chan and Anderson Silva, whom he must have seen more than a hundred times on television and internet.

“Everybody hails Bruce Lee, but Jackie Chan is who put me on [to martial arts],” he said. “I liked the way he fought, it was more comical. Bruce Lee mesmerized, but Jackie Chan was lit. He enrolled at another gym and kept going back until he was accepted.


Now that he has found what he wanted to do, he quickly move ahead to make his amateur kickboxing debut in 2008. The opponent was far larger than the untested Adesanya.

“My first fight was nerve-wracking,” he admitted. “I was scared. As soon as I got to the ring, I saw why the guy wasn’t at weigh-ins. Do you remember David Tua? He had that same high-top fade, and he was almost as big. He was supposed to be 80 kilograms (176 pounds), but he was about 93 kilograms (205 pounds). My coach took the fight anyway without asking because he knew I’d get worried.”

No algorithmic shortcut can tell you how you’ll perform in those kinds of situations, with real bodily harm staring you squarely in the face. That data is purely experiential. Adesanya got in there.

“I was clean and cold,” he said. “No one could tell anything from my face. I hit him with a teep [kick] within the first 10 seconds, and it gave me the confidence to keep going and get the win.”

Israel Adesanya
Israel Adesanya
By 2016 Adesanya had become a household name in kickboxing amassing a 32-0 record as an amateur, then achieving 75-5 while a professional, with 48 KO’s.

He had tried out his hands in boxing with a record 5-1 knockout before switching.

His impressive and entertaining fighting skill attracted Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) where you can freely exhibit boxing, karate, and muaythai skills.

He joined UFC in 2018 and within two years has done 20 fights winning all with 15 KO’s.

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Last Saturday Adesanya got the whole world taking after knocking out Paulo Costa in his second-round victory at UFC 253.

The fight in Abu Dhabi became the largest ever PPV (pay-per-view) event of the UFC in New Zealand.

A record number of fans purchased the event on Sky Arena, Sky Sports, while the second-highest number of commercial venues around the country broadcasted the PPV event to its patrons. It wa also the third-highest performing PPV event overall in new Zealand, behind the all Kiwi heavyweight boxing showdown between David Tua and Shane Cameron in 2009, and Joseph Parker world heavyweight unification title bout against Anthony Joshua in 2018.

Adesanya is not only famous but has also made a fortune fighting. Multiple reports suggest Adesanya worth at $2million US Dollars based on money won in his 19 career fights.

In his stunning UFC middleweight title defence against Costa, he received just above $1.053million.


Adesanya, however, attributed his loquacious and winning culture to his home country; Nigeria. “I think, being Nigerian, that culture, we’re not a shy bunch,” If I’m generalizing, when a Nigerian walks into a room, you’ll know. We don’t dim our shine or talk ourselves down for anyone. In Nigeria, we’re very comfortable expressing our confidence and being passionate people.”

“We have a lot of values,” he said. “Some things are as simple as manners. I meet people sometimes and they walk past you without saying ‘Hello’ what do you say to your parents when you wake up in the morning? You acknowledge them. In the Western world, it’s not always something everyone does.

“But,” he added, “With a fight, you’re trying to fight me, so it’s a different situation. If I’m fighting, f–k your manners.”

Paul Egonu, President of Nigeria Muaythai Federation, acknowledging Adesanya skill, called on Nigerian government and promoters to make his next fight happen in Nigeria.

“I don’t know him one on one. There are people that know him but I became one of his followers when I noticed his style that is very much in touch with muaythai. Most of his techniques are muaythai techniques and I’m delighted that he’s doing well.

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Israel Adesanya
Israel Adesanya
Israel Adesanya started training in kickboxing when he was 18 years old. His inspiration for kickboxing arose after seeing a Thai film named Ong-Bak based on Muaythai sport. After taking up Muaythai in Whanganui under Derek Broughton, at the age of 21 in 2001 Israel moved to Auckland, New Zealand with his family. Adesanya then began his professional kickboxing career at City Kickboxing in New Zealand. There he trained himself under Eugene Bareman with other established MMA fighters such as Dan Hooker, Kai Kara-France and Alexander Volkanovski. He went on to stockpile a terrific amateur kickboxing record. He went unbeaten over 32 fights before moving to China to reside and fight.

In the year 2016, the Nigerian boxer won the Glory 34 middleweight contender tournament in Denver. Though he could not win the championship, this match made people see him as one of the best strikers in the world. In the year 2017, Israel defeated veteran Melvin Guillard and marked his 10th victory. He won the Australian Fighting Championship middleweight belt for that. He also won the King of the Ring 86 Cruiserweights Tournament twice and the heavyweight tournament once in his career.

The 30-year-old Nigerian striker ended his kickboxing career with two losses in it. Brazilian Alex Pereira defeated Adesanya at Glory of Heroes 7 in 2017. This loss broke the winning streak of Israel. In his entire career, this was Israel’s only defeat through knockout. His second loss was against Jason Wilnis at Glory 37. His last bout was against Stuart Dare before entering the UFC.

The professional combat fighter made his debut in UFC in February 2018 with proper experience of almost six years as a combat sports fighter. UFC spotted the Nigerian seeing his flamboyant style and athletic kicks. His strikes, moves, and attacks are something that makes him stand out amongst all other boxers. He is considered to be an entertainment package and a threat at the same time in the field of boxing

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David de Gea ‘could leave Manchester United on loan’

Wisdom Nwachukwu



Manchester United could reportedly loan out goalkeeper David de Gea ahead of the 2021-22 campaign.

The 30-year-old was between the sticks for his team’s Europa League clash with Granada on Thursday night but appears to have dropped behind Dean Henderson in the pecking order at Old Trafford.

Henderson is expected to start Sunday’s Premier League clash against Tottenham Hotspur, with De Gea set to drop back down to the bench.

The Spain international has recently been linked with a move away from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s side, but he still has more than two years left to run on a lucrative contract at Old Trafford.

According to ESPN, Man United are unlikely to find a buyer for De Gea in the upcoming market and could therefore decide to loan him out for the 2021-22 season.

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The former Atletico Madrid youngster has made 435 appearances for the 20-time English champions in all competitions, including 30 outings during the current campaign

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NXT takeover stand and deliver results 7th April 2021

Benjamin Ukpabi



NXT takeover stand and deliver results 7th April 2021

Here are the results for the NXT takeover pay per view

Zoey Stark vs. Toni Storm (Pre-show): Stark continued to impress as she has in a series of matches with stop stars, hitting some nice early moves, including a good-looking springboard missile dropkick. Storm took over the match after the strong start, using some power offense with snap suplexes and a body slam, but before she could capitalize, Stark hit a superplex from the second rope to start a comeback. A half-nelson suplex set up a running knee for the first convincing near fall of the match. Stark continued to keep up the pressure until Storm hit a series of German suplexes before going for Storm Zero, which was countered awkwardly by Stark into a small package for the victory.  (NXT takeover)

Pete Dunne vs. Kushida: An exchange of submission attempts opened the match as both men were attempting to establish their technical superiority early. Kushida had a small edge in the grappling until the action spilled outside where Dunne hit an X-plex onto the ring apron. Dunne brutally went after the arm of Kushida for a brief run, but Kushida fired up and ran the length of the entrance ramp for a kick. After an exchange of strikes, Dunne went back to work on the arm — and the fingers — of Kushida.

The action continued to flow back and forth, with Dunne’s aggression being met by Kushida blow-for-blow. Kushida hit a superplex while holding his Hoverboard Lock, switching to an armbar, but Dunne managed to get a foot on the ropes for a break. Kushida continued going for Dunne’s arms, locking in another Hoverboard Lock and then switching arms with the hold when Dunne reached the ropes. Dunne went back to the fingers, softening up Kushida for a kick to the head and Bitter End to bring the match to a close.

Leon Ruff vs. Isaiah “Swerve” Scott vs. Bronson Reed vs. Cameron Grimes vs. Dexter Lumis vs. LA Knight (Gauntlet Eliminator for North American championship opportunity): Scott jumped Ruff before the match, getting off to an early advantage when they were the first two men in. Ruff eventually hit a cutter on Scott, springboarding off the announce table to hit the move. That wasn’t enough to keep Scott down, as he continued to blitz Ruff with big moves until Ruff countered a top rope powerbomb into a rana before Reed entered the match. Reed ran wild until hitting a double-German suplex on Scott and Ruff. Grimes came into the match and paid off Scott to help him go at the other competitors. During Lumis’ entrance, Scott was able to quickly pin Ruff to take him out of the match. Lumis delivered suplex after suplex until running into Reed with the two big men exchanging strikes and neither getting the upper hand. Knight made his entrance as the final man into the match and soon pinned Lumis as Lumis had Grimes locked in Silence. Reed eliminated Knight moments later after a senton, leaving Scott, Reed and Grimes as the final three in the match. (NXT takeover)

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Grimes and Scott teamed up against Reed, but Reed shrugged off strikes from both men until the temporary alliance fell apart and Scott rolled up Grimes with a handful of tights — reversing Grimes’ own attempt to grab Scott’s tights in a pin — for the elimination. Reed went to the top rope, but Scott caught him with a kick and then slammed Reed from the top rope onto the ring apron. Scott followed up with a 450 splash for a near fall. Reed fired up through a trio of House Call kicks from Scott before hitting Tsunami for the victory.

NXT UK Championship — WALTER (c) vs. Tommaso Ciampa: Ciampa looked to try to neutralize WALTER’s strength with speed early but eventually snapped and blitzed WALTER with a flurry of strikes. That only served to anger the champion, leading him to deliver a series of titanic chops. WALTER tried to deliver another chop as Ciampa was leaned on the announce table, but Ciampa moved out of the way, causing WALTER to chop through a portion of the table. Ciampa tried to take advantage of the now-injured hand of WALTER but ran into a big boot. When WALTER had trouble locking in submissions due to not being able to use any strength in his grip, he resorted to delivering more big kicks to the face of Ciampa. Ciampa delivered clothesline after clothesline, trying to take WALTER off his feet, sending the champion stumbling before falling into the ropes where Ciampa’s clotheslines continued until WALTER delivered a chop. Ciampa came right back with yet another clothesline, finally driving WALTER to the mat. After another flurry of offense, Ciampa hit the Fairy Tale Ending for a near fall.

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WALTER came back with an attempt at a choke before a German suplex and lariat for a two count of his own. Ciampa continued his incredible performance, blasting WALTER with strikes and forcing the big man to turtle up. Another strike exchange followed shortly after before WALTER focused in on the neck of Ciampa with a series of stomps and powerbombs, again resulting in a near fall. Walter hit another suplex and a big chop, this time putting Ciampa down for the three count, retaining his title.  (NXT takeover)

Tag Team Championship — MSK vs. Grizzled Young Veterans vs. Legado Del Fantasma: This match was for the vacant title. Pure fire from the jump with everyone in the match flying around the ring at full speed. Every team in the match got early spots to shit, with Grizzled Young Veterans taking the early action before MSK took over and Legado del Fantasma finally took control with simultaneous dives and then a pair of Van Terminators (without the chair) on Nash Carter for a near fall. Legado continued their run of control by continuing to take the fight to Carter until he finally made a tag to Wes Lee, who took out all four men on the other teams before a huge dive and a series of backflips into a Pele kick to the back of James Drake’s head. (NXT takeover)

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Zack Gibson finally involved himself to take out Lee, holding his hand inside the turnbuckle pad so Drake could deliver a dropkick to the already inured hand. Gibson locked up Lee’s hand and Lee was ready to tap until Carter was able to crawl through a Drake choke to grab his partner’s hand. Things broke down to GYV vs. MSK, with Lee hitting a double cutter and then a twisting blockbuster while Carter had Gibson lifted up to score the win and take home the titles.

Women’s Championship — Io Shirai (c) vs. Raquel Gonzalez: Gonzalez used her power early, forcing Shirai to have to resort to slick defensive maneuvers and quickness, hitting a rana and then taking the fight to Gonzalez in the corner. Gonzalez caught a Shirai stomp and tried to reverse the momentum but found herself on the outside, getting knocked to the floor after a Shirai asai moonsault. Gonzalez was finally able to slow down the champ by driving her into the ring post before going back to the ring where she began to toss Shirai around the ring.

Every time it seemed Gonzalez had Shirai on the defensive, the champion would find a way to counter and launch into her own high impact offense, including a Code Red for a near fall. Gonzalez caught Shirai on the top rope and tried to walk her to the center of the ring for a chokeslam, but Shirai managed to counter and roll into a crossface, forcing Gonzalez to crawl to the ropes for the escape. Shirai followed up with a moonsault from the top rope onto the entrance ramp. Shirai wandered out of the ring area before appearing on top of the giant skull that made up the set background on the ramp, hitting a diving crossbody onto Gonzalez. (NXT takeover)

Gonzalez refused to stay down, coming back to hit a chokeslam outside the ring and throwing the champion in for a near fall. Moments later, Gonzalez managed to hit a big lariat and then another chokeslam to score the pinfall and win the belt.

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Jesse Lingard Scores as West Ham beat Wolves

Benjamin Ukpabi



Jesse Lingard Scores as West Ham beat Wolves FLLIQQA

Jesse Lingard Scores as West Ham beat Wolves

Jesse Lingard is currently trending on Twitter following the stunning goal he scored for West Ham against Wolves on Monday night, April 5.

Lingard signed for the Hammers on a short-term loan deal in January, after the Man United academy product was not given an opportunity to shine under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Fast forward two months, and Lingard is one of the most in-form players in the Premier League.

He opened the scoring for West Ham away at Wolves with a stunning solo goal showing so much confidence as he carried the ball forward from behind the halfway-line before holding his nerve and beating Rui Patricio.

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The Wolves defenders followed him, but his long run with the ball for such a distance and ability to keep his composure in front of goal, has even got some Twitter users saying he should be nominated for the FIFA Puskas goal of the year.

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