Israel Adesanya to ‘celebrate’ victory over Brazil’s Silva in Nigeria
• I was nervous watching him in a cage fight, says father
After beating Brazil’s legendary fighter, Anderson Silva, in the UFC 234 in Melbourne on Sunday morning, Africa’s fast-rising MMA athlete, Israel Adesanya is planning to visit his fatherland, Nigeria soon.
Israel Adesanya, who lives in New Zealand with his parents, confirmed his status as MMA athlete’s next superstar by defeating his older Brazilian opponent by a unanimous decision in a battle, which will go down as one of his biggest in history. The UFC 234 fight between Adesanya and Silva in Melbourne was a pay-per-view event.
Before Sunday’s showdown at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Israel Adesanya was unbeaten in 15 visits to the octagon, four of them in UFC. Though, Israel walked out of the cage smiling, his father, Femi Tai Adesanya, says the entire family members who were at the ringside in Melbourne to give their support, were tensed up.
“Every member of the family were in Melbourne to watch and support him,” the senior Adesanya told The Guardian shortly after the victory against Silva. It is not easy to watch Israel fight inside the cage. We are always nervous because we know too well that any mistake can be unforgiving.”
The senior Adesanya revealed that the entire family had been supporting Israel since he made his mind to pursue a career in combat sports. He added: “Israel looks forward to visiting Nigeria soon, most likely in the middle of the year. I have to tidy up a lot of things including renewing his international passport, purchase flight tickets and some other logistics.”
Adesanya, who hails from Odogbolu, Ogun State stated that with Israel’s victory against Brazil’s Silva on Sunday morning in Melbourne, more Nigerians will fall in love with the sport. “I suppose with Israel’s performance, and DSTV showing MMA fights, the sky is the limit because Nigeria is blessed with strong and intelligent children who, with the right level of support, will do well. Nigeria had a couple of boys in the UFC. Kamaru Usman fights for the World welterweight title on March 5.”
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