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Buhari congratulates Usman as Nigerian retains UFC welterweight title


Kamaru Usman (left) defeated Jorge Masvidal to retain his UFC 251 welterweight title at the Fight Island, Abu Dhabi… at the weekend.

• World champion pays tribute to Masvidal
President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated Kamarudeen Usman for successfully defending his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight title with an emphatic win over Jorge Masvidal.

As the first African-born and Nigerian UFC Champion, President Buhari also commended the courageous fighter for finishing strong inside the Octagon, proudly flying the green and white colours in distant lands, and reminding the world that good things and great people still come out of Nigeria.

While the global COVID-19 pandemic may have brought gloom to many families and nations, the President expressed delight that the Nigerian welterweight champion has lifted the peoples’ spirits with “another professional performance, proving that things will surely get better at the fullness of time when we remain committed to our vision.”


The President, in a statement by Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina yesterday, wished Usman the very best and more victories in his career and prayed that like fine wine, he improves with age.

Usman defeated Masvidal to retain his welterweight championship in a unanimous decision at UFC 251 in the United Arab Emirates.

Masvidal, who was called in as a last-minute replacement after Gilbert Burns tested positive for coronavirus, had called Usman “mentally weak” prior to the fight.

But the judges found Usman too strong as they scored the fight 50-45, 50-45 and 49-46 in his favour, allowing the Nigerian to equal Khabib Nurmagomedov’s record with 12 consecutive UFC wins.

Speaking after the fight, Usman called Masvidal the ‘baddest dude out there.’

While paying tribute to his opponent, Usman insisted he is ‘just levels better’.

“Gamebred is the biggest, baddest dude out there right now, so I had to switch gears preparing for him on six days’ notice,” he said.

“All these guys are preparing for one guy and that’s me, at the top of the mountain.

“I trained for Gilbert [Burns], I had a different game plan. Gamebred is tough, he landed some elbows from the bottom and he didn’t quit.

“I knew Jorge is tough, I’ve always said it minus all the trash talking and all the things going on, Jorge is a tough guy and I give him credit for that.

“I’m just levels better. I have more tools in the toolbox and when I need to I can pull them out and use them.”


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