Israel Adesanya, the reigning Middleweight Champion who recently defeated his Italian contender to retain his title, has celebrated African dominance and indelible history in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
The masterclass fighter nicknamed the Stylebender expressed his joy of being part of the three African kings currently ruling the UFC. “I am honored to be part of this trio in mixed martial arts. There are 600+ active UFC fighters. Less than 30 of us are Africans. Yet 3 of us are Champions.” He said, adding that the current situation in the UFC is “an era in the history of sports that will never be forgotten.”
The three African fighters, Israel Adesanya, Kamaru Usman and Francis Ngannou have made history in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) by holding the topmost position in three different divisions at the same time, embossing the image of the continent on the world globe.
Currently, Israel Adesanya from Nigeria is the world’s middleweight champion. Another Nigerian, Kamaru Usman is the current welterweight champion whilst Francis Ngannou, a Cameroonian emerged as the new heavyweight champion after a dramatic 2nd round knockout of his opponent, Stipe Miocic at UFC 260 to claim the title.
One admirable thing about the three kings is that they are very supportive of each other; a display of the African Ubuntu spirit. During Adesanya’s recent unanimous victory over Marvin Vettori, his Cameroonian brother, Francis Ngannou was there to support him. It could equally be recalled that Kamaru Usman was in Ngannou’s corner during his fight against Stipe Miocic at UFC 260, a victory which completed the dominance of the trio in the UFC.
In an earlier interview with BBC Kamaru said, “every time there’s an African, I strive to get that closeness and create that bond and let them know that you have a community of people around you. Together, we can make this thing humongous in our continent. I bleed Africa so if there is a fighter from Africa automatically I am on their team.”
The feat the three have achieved for the continent is very rare in the UFC and the first for Africa; for this reason, Francis made an earlier call on the UFC to honor their collective achievement; “I think we deserve at least one open event to honor us you know, it is in Africa wherever it is in Nigeria or in the Cameroon.” He said in an interview with Ariel Helwani.