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Nigeria’s Sodiq Yusuff racks up fourth consecutive win at UFC 246


January 18, 2020; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Sodiq Yusuff is declared the winner by unanimous decision against Andre Fili during UFC 246 at T-Mobile Arena. PHOTO: Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports

Until his fourth straight UFC win last night at UFC 246 in Las Vegas, Sodiq Yusuff was mostly unknown in his native Nigeria.

But after picking his 11th mixed martial arts win against a more experienced American opponent Andre Fili, Yusuff may be on his way to achieving international acclaim and national hero status.

“My people, Nigerians…I’m representing. By God’s Grace, I will also be a champion like my elder brothers Israel (Adesanya) and Kamaru (Usman),” Super Sodiq said in Yoruba after a dominant showing against Fili in a featherweight bout.


His record improved to 11-1 (4-0 UFC) while Fili’s dipped to 20-7 (8-6 UFC).

Yusuff showed off a well-rounded attack in winning a three-round unanimous decision over Fili, with three of the judges scoring the fight 29-28 in his favour. His superior grappling positions and better striking power ensured he avoided being hurt by his opponent in the UFC 246 preliminary card at T-Mobile Arena.

“It’s a solid win for sure, and I think I did show that I belong at the top of the division,” he added.

Before the bout on Saturday, Yusuff said in an interview that he had expected to go up against Fili even before they were matched. He thought of a win against the American, nicknamed Touchy, who is revered in the division, as a step to moving to the next level up in the division.

“A win like this is what I need to get to the upper echelon of the division,” Yusuff said. “He’s held the same position in the division for a long time, so after this, I’m definitely going to be ranked in the top-15. Then I’ll get a top-10 opponent.”

Yusuff’s dream of becoming a champion in the division will not be short of motivation. Israel ‘Stylebender’ Adesanya and Kamaru ‘Nigerian Nightmare’ Usman are already world champions and will provide enough motivations for the featherweight up-and-comer.


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