UFC Welterweight Champion, Kamaru Usman, in partnership with 5five 4four Limited, is set to host the first official Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fight in Nigeria, leading the development of MMA in Nigeria and Africa.
Usman , who returned to Nigeria to organise the Face-Off Fight Night , revealed the rationale behind his move.
He said he and his partners have the sole aim of providing opportunities for budding fighters in Africa.
Usman is very excited about the partnership and said: “I’m happy to go into the partnership with 5five 4four Limited as it provides opportunities for more youths in Africa to become world champions like myself.”
Speaking about the idea behind the partnership and the future plans, the number one pound-for-pound fighter said: “It’s not quite often that someone gets to a position of power and they want to help, but the difficult aspect is how to help. I have thought about it over and over on how I can help.
“How can I go back and create opportunities for children like myself and this is it and this is the best way to do that. I was able to run into my amazing partners who had a similar vision as well, and this vision is to create opportunities to be able to get all those kids like myself to change their lives or their families’ lives.
“We want to be able to change the way things are right now. We are not only creating those opportunities, but we want to do it for future generations to come. We have big plans to continue all this and we want to put it in a place of creating infrastructure to build things that are not only going to attract tourists to our great country but things that are going to bring economic stability to all of Nigeria and to eventually all of Africa.” he added
Powered by 5Five 4Four and endorsed by the Lagos State Sports Commission, this event will see five professional fights among ten MMA fighters from Africa.
Lagos State Sports Commission Chairperson, Sola Aiyepeku, on behalf of the state governor, said the state is aware of what it stands to gain with this sort of innovation.
He said: “I must say that there is no doubt that Mr. Governor loves sports and he understands the power of sports, the influence and the impact it can make on our environment. The Lagos State Government is interested, just as we are interested in so many other martial arts therefore we are coming together to ensure that the job is done and the plan which is to ensure that this full foundation is properly laid so that we can build a tall skyscraper that would last forever, is executed successfully. In so doing there is a plan to establish an MMA Federation here in Lagos State, which will be the first in Nigeria.
Friday’s fight will feature the first runner-up Daniel ‘Big Shark’ Emeka taking on Ayivor ‘Finisher Mawuko; Damilare ‘Ring Beast’ Abdulrahim will face off against Ugochukwu ‘Nicotine’ Melvin.
Jude ‘Hurricane’ Ezugwu is slated to go toe-to-toe with Richard ‘Resident Ninja’ Chidi Nwankwo, while Emmanuel Onoja will battle it out with Richard ‘Shield’ Muzaan.
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