Encomiums have continued to trail the exploits of Nigerian-born martial art champion Kamaru Usman for retaining his Ultimate Fighting Championship UFC welterweight belt against American Jorge Masvidal over the weekend.
According to a statement by the Media Office of Youth and Sports Development Minister, Mr Sunday Dare, Usman’s win is not only inspiring, but a confirmation of the never-say-die Nigerian spirit .
” A big congratulations to Usman for making Nigeria proud by retaining his Ultimate fighting Championship welterweight title against Jorge Masvidal.
“His tenacity, courage and consistency is typical of the Nigerian spirit of never giving up. He is not ony a worthy champion, but a great Nigerian in whom we are all proud. Once again he has shown that he is not just a patriot, but an embodiment of a great athlete who has projected the image of our dear country before the whole world positively. You are indeed a great Ambassador of Nigeria,” the statement concluded.
Usman retained his title via unanimous decision in Abu Dhabi early hours of Sunday.
The fight was almost called off due to disagreement over pay.
Masvidal was named as a last minute replacement to his earlier challenger Gilbert Burns who pulled out after he tested positive for Covid-19.
The feat was Usman’s 11th successful win in three title defence in the United Arab Emirate.
Usman earned $600,000 appearance fee and $40,000 as incentives, while his challenger got $500,000.
The “Nigerian Nighmare” has won 16 of his last 17 fights, losing only to Jose Caseres in 2013.