Nigerian-born mixed martial artist Israel Adesanya has defeated his long time rival Alex Pereira to reclaim the UFC middleweight belt title in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) 287.
The bout took place at the FTX Arena, Miami, Florida, on Sunday morning.
The victory is Adesanya’s first-ever win over Pereira who defeated and took the belt off him with a vicious fifth-round knockout in November 2022.
The Brazilian had also defeated him twice before that fight at the Maddison Square Garden in New York.
The win over Pereira is Adesanya’s 24th in his career in mixed martial arts (MMA) and he had suffered just two losses.
Kissing Scandal: Spanish Footballers End Boycott
The Spanish women’s footballers who boycotted the country after former Spanish FA President Luis Rubiales kissed the country’s forward Jenni Hermoso, have ended their boycott.
Victor Francos, the country’s secretary of state for sports, made this announcement earlier today, September 20, after over 7 hours of deliberations.
Recall that the country’s new head coach, Montse Tome, selected 15 players from the 2023 World Cup-winning squad for the 2023 Women’s Nations League games.
After learning that the boycott was still in place, the players issued a statement claiming that they had been “put in a position we never wanted to be in.”
They said they intended to look into any possible legal repercussions of being summoned without their will.
Tome intentionally left Hermoso off the squad “to protect her”, but the 2023 World Cup winner reacted angrily, saying the decision to invite boycotting players to the squad proved “nothing has changed” at the country’s FA.
Two women out of the 23 players invited for the Women’s Nations League campaign have reportedly opted out of the squad even though other boycotting players have reportedly agreed to end the boycott.
Amidst that, Francos claimed that the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) had promised “immediate and profound changes”, and also promised not to punish the boycotting players.
He added, “It is good news to be able to say that the team will play the next two games with guarantees.”
He claimed that following “friendly” discussions in Valencia between the players, RFEF representatives, CSD, and women’s players’ organization Futpro, all parties involved agreed to end the boycott.
“A joint commission will be created between RFEF, CSD, and players to follow up on the agreements, which will be signed tomorrow,” Francos said.
“The players have expressed their concern about the need for profound changes in the RFEF, which has committed to making these changes immediately.”
In the 2023 Nations League, Spain is scheduled to play Sweden on Friday and Switzerland on Tuesday.
Three Nigerian Boxers Qualify For 2024 Paris Olympics
Three Nigerian boxers have qualified for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris after winning the African Olympic Boxing Qualifications final.
The qualifications final which took place in Dakar, Senegal on Friday, September 15, had nine Nigerian boxers in attendance coached by former Olympians, Anthony Konyegwachie and Adura Olalehin.
After the first set of rounds, eight of them advanced to the quarterfinals, six advanced to the semifinals, and three advanced to the final, where they all won gold medals by defeating their rivals.
In the Women’s 60kg division, Cynthia Ogunsemilore of Nigeria and Khelif Hadjila of Algeria engaged in heated combat. At the end of the bout, the Nigerian star won her opponent with an unexpected unanimous decision victory (5-0) and earned the first gold medal for Nigeria.
Joshua Omole picked up where Ogunsemilore left off in the Men’s 57kg class when he entered the ring to face Leta Yadesa of Ethiopia. Omole also won the featherweight gold medal by unanimous decision (5-0).
The Men’s 92kg competition featured a match between Adam Olaore and Houmri Mohamed of Algeria. Olaore demonstrated his tenacity by overcoming the opponent by a split decision (4-1) which earned him his second African championship and became the third Nigerian boxer to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
At the end of the African Olympic Boxing Qualifications tournament, Team Nigeria brought home a total of six medals, including three golds and three bronzes from Patricia Mbata in the middleweight category, Adeola Oyesiji in the flyweight category, and Nene Ojo in the featherweight category.
Abeokuta 10km Race: Foreign athletes Praise Ogun Govt Over Road Network
Athletes from China, Ethiopia, and Kenya who participated in the just concluded Lotus Bank/Abeokuta 10Km race held in the Ogun state capital on Saturday have commended the Ogun State Government for its investment on good road network.
The 10km race is an international event held annually by Nilayo Sports Management.
This year’s edition, according to the Project Manager, Seyi Johnson was held as part of activities marking the 80th birthday of the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo.
The race, which commenced from the Onikolobo area of Abeokuta, saw over 2,000 local and international athletes passing through the Panseke, Ibara, Isale-Igbein, Sapon, Itoko, Arinlese en route Saje, Kugba, Adatan, Isale-Ake and terminated at the Alake’s palace in Ake as the finished line.
Kenyan Peter Mwaniki emerged winner, covering 28:33 seconds to cross the finish line.
Mwaniki won the $5,000 first-winner prize money, while Kennedy Kipyeko also from Kenya, won the $3,000 first runner-up prize money, and Abraham Akobeche from Kenya, came third with $1,000.
In an interview with Sports journalists, the international athletes expressed their delight at the quality of roads in Ogun State, saying it made the race much more easier and enjoyable.
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