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Isreal Adesanya, Pride of Naija

Benjamin Ukpabi

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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.

GROWING UP

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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NEW ZEALAND

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.

AMATEUR STAGE

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.

PRIDE OF NAIJA

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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PROFILE: FROM GRASS TO GRACE
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

Musician & Blogger Follow me on Instagram @drumwrld_999

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Chelsea FC beats Burnley 3-0, another clean sheet for Mendy

Benjamin Ukpabi

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Chelsea Football club beat Burnley 3-0 and Mendy keeps another clean sheet.

Just few days after they won their UEFA Champions League match, they faced off with burley some minutes ago and they came out victorious

Ziyech started the goal campaign in the first half and in the second half, Kourt Zouma scored a second goal cusion. He is presently the highest goal scorer in the premier league. Then Timo Werner scored the last goal.

Edouard Mendy kept another clean sheet since his Cheslea goal keeping career. He is the second Chelsea goal keeper to keep a clean sheet since Petr Cech.

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Friday Night Smackdown results 30th October 2020

Benjamin Ukpabi

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Friday night Smackdown results 30th October 2020

Survivor Series Qualifying Match — Jey Uso def. Daniel Bryan via pinfall after an Uso Splash. Uso fought angry in the early going, clearly emotional from his situation with Reigns. After a Bryan comeback, Reigns’ music hit and the universal champ made his way to ringside. The action continued, going back-and-forth, with Bryan eventually locking in the LeBell Lock before Uso was able to escape. Uso hit a superkick shortly after and an Uso Splash to pick up the victory. Reigns climbed into the ring after the match and Uso said, “You’re the head of the table, alright? I’m with you.” Reigns then turned and stared at Bryan and Uso delivered another superkick and splash to show his commitment to Reigns as he repeated, “I understand now. I love you too.” Reigns pointed to Bryan and said, “Make him understand,” so Uso dragged Bryan out of the ring, continuing to beat on him before driving him through an announce table with a splash from the top rope to the outside. Uso continued to batter Bryan as the show went off the air. (Friday night Smackdown)

The drama in this storyline was threatening to drift even closer to being too much after the Hell in a Cell match. Uso’s “understanding” — and subsequent attack on Bryan — pulled it back. Rather than continuing the push and pull between Reigns and Uso, Uso snapped and went over the edge with his cousin. And there are few more sympathetic characters to put on the end of Uso’s punches than Bryan. (Friday night Smackdown)

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Aalyah Mysterio and Murphy are in love
Early in the show, Aalyah Mysterio was shown speaking to Murphy backstage and stating that her mom has been very “open-minded” about the two of them, but that Rey and Dominik were refusing to even speak about the situation. Murphy said he would issue an official apology in the ring later in the night.

Murphy would eventually attempt to issue that apology. He said he understands why the Mysterios despise him, but as a man, he needed to apologize face-to-face. He invited the two to the ring, begging to be able to apologize, but instead it was Seth Rollins who emerged from backstage. Rollins said that Rey and Dominik would never accept Murphy’s apology or whatever relationship he had with Aalyah. Rollins then said that if the Mysterios don’t accept him, he will. And he’ll also accept Aalyah. Dominik attacked Rollins from behind, Murphy pulled him off and attacked Rollins himself. After Rollins ran away, Dominik and Murphy brawled until Rey ran in as well. Aalyah stopped Rey from hitting a 619 on Murphy and refused to leave the ring, declaring that she loves Murphy. Murphy and Aalyah then kissed as Dominik and Rey left the ring. (Friday night Smackdown)

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What else happened on WWE Friday night SmackDown?
Survivor Series Qualifying Match — Kevin Owens def. Dolph Ziggler via pinfall after a stunner.Robert Roode involved himself on the outside early, getting in a cheap shot on Owens. The referee caught on, however, and ejected Roode from ringside. Down the stretch, Owens countered a Ziggler superkick with one of his own before going for a pop-up powerbomb, but Ziggler countered into a fameasser for a near fall in a nice exchange. In the end, Owens was able to hit the stunner to pick up the victory and secure a place on Team SmackDown.
Lars Sullivan was interviewed by Corey Graves. Sullivan took issue with being called “a freak,” recalling being made fun of in his youth before crying and making those same kids scream 20 minutes later. Now he wants to make the world his personal playground — and personal hell on Earth. (Friday night Smackdown)

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Survivor Series Qualifying Match — Bianca Belair def. Billie Kay and Natalya via pinfall after hitting Kay with the Kiss of Death. The match came about when the three women confronted Adam Pearce backstage, all claiming they should captain the women’s team at Survivor Series. Pearce told them that they could settle things in the ring, with the winner earning a spot on the team. After a short match with some wild swings in momentum, Belair finished off Kay with the Kiss of Death.
The Street Profits def. Shinsuke Nakamura & Cesaro via pinfall when Montez Ford hit Nakamura with a frog splash. Before the match, the Profits cut a promo on Survivor Series opponents The New Day, promising to get the victory in their champions vs. champions bout. (Friday night Smackdown)

Sasha Banks cut a promo on Bayley after beating her for the SmackDown women’s championship at Hell in a Cell. Banks said that she realized when Bayley turned on her, it wasn’t their team that was unstoppable, it was her. Bayley cut off the promo, pointing out that everyone knows Banks can win a championship, but she’s never been able to hold on to one. Finally, Bayley threw down the challenge for a title rematch on next week’s Friday night SmackDown.

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Lewandowski: most decorated player of the year.

Benjamin Ukpabi

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Lewandowski is seen as the most decorated player of the year as he has one many trophies for his club and himself.

Lewandowski helped his team Bayern Munich to conquer the UEFA Champions League trophy and he was the highest scorer in the competition

The only trophy lewandowski didn’t win was the Ballon D’or which was cancelled this year due to the Corona virus. But most of his fans and football supporters have come out to side with him and they said he achieved what a mighty player could and he deserved the award.

Robert Lewandowski  born 21 August 1988) is a Polish professional footballer who plays as a striker for Bundesliga club Bayern Munich and is the captain of the Poland national team. He is renowned for his positioning, technique and finishing, and is widely regarded as one of the best players in the world, and one of the best strikers in Bundesliga history. He has scored over 500 senior career goals for club and country.

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After being the top scorer in the third and second tiers of Polish football with Znicz Pruszków, Lewandowski moved to top-flight Lech Poznań, helping the team win the 2009–10 Ekstraklasa. In 2010, he transferred to Borussia Dortmund, where he won honours including two consecutive Bundesliga titles and the league’s top goalscorer award. In 2013, he also featured with Dortmund in the 2013 UEFA Champions League Final. Prior to the start of the 2014–15 season, Lewandowski agreed to join Dortmund’s domestic rivals, Bayern Munich, on a free transfer. In Munich, he has won the Bundesliga title in each of his first six seasons, and in 2016–17 and 2019–20 he was named the Bundesliga Player of the Season. Lewandowski was integral in Bayern’s UEFA Champions League win in 2019–20 as part of a treble. He is one of only two players to achieve the European treble, while being the top scorer in all three competitions.

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A full international for Poland since 2008, Lewandowski has earned over 110 caps and was a member of their team at UEFA Euro 2012, Euro 2016 and the 2018 FIFA World Cup. With 63 international goals, Lewandowski is the all-time top scorer for Poland. He won IFFHS World’s Top International Goal Scorer of the Year Award in 2015. He has been named the Polish Player of the Year a record eight times.

In 2020, Lewandowski won the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year Award. He has been named to the UEFA Champions League Squad of the Season three times, and is the fourth-highest goalscorer in the history of the competition.Lewandowski has been named the VDV Bundesliga Player of the Season a record four times. He has scored over 200 goals in the Bundesliga, having reached the century mark quicker than any other foreign player, and is the league’s all-time leading foreign goalscorer.Moreover, He has won Bundesliga Top Scorer Award for five times. He was awarded four Guinness World Records for the fastest five-goal haul in any major European football league since records have been kept, after scoring five times in nine minutes against Wolfsburg in 2015.

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Lewandowski recently posted a picture on his Facebook page which shows him posing with all the trophies he on and in that post he said,

When someone doubts your abilities, start working twice as hard to prove that they are wrong💪 This is my story😎 #RL9

FC Bayern München
#Säbener51

📸 Fritz Beck

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