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Adesanya returns to New Zealand after ‘tour’ of Nigeria


Israel Adesanya…with his UFC Interim middleweight belt at the hotel in Victoria Island, Lagos. Photo: Jeff Sainlar Visuals

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) interim middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya, returned to New Zealand yesterday after a ‘tour’ of some states in Nigeria.

Adesanya migrated with his parents from Nigeria to New Zealand when he was 11 years old. The combat fighter told The Guardian shortly before his departure from Lagos yesterday that he was excited with the enthusiasm showed by followers of the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) in Nigeria. He promised to return to Nigeria after his unification fight against Australian opponent, Robert Whittaker later this year.

“My visit to Nigeria was a great excitement and I thank the fans for the love and support they demonstrated towards me. I will come back, maybe after I must have defeated Whittaker.


“I enjoyed every bit of my visit. I ate many local delicacies, met with a lot of top personalities, and I was able to reach out to many lovers of MMA. I am going back to New Zealand with great excitement,” he stated.

At the weekend, Adesanya made a surprise visit to the National Stadium, where he trained for the first time in his fatherland, 16 years after he took his martial arts trade to New Zealand.

Adesanya had presented his Golden belt to Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State on the third day of his visit. He also visited his former primary school, Chrisland, at Opebi, Ikeja Lagos.

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