Nigeria’s Ambassador and multi-decked Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman has made plans to set up a state-of-the-arts Mixed Martial Art (MMA) facility inside the University of Lagos Sports Complex. The reigning UFC Welterweight Champion popularly known as the Nigerian nightmare, made the disclosure on Thursday, January 6, 2022, when he visited the Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos, Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, FAS in his office at the Senate house.
The Auchi-born fighter says his visit was part of personal efforts to introduce amateur Mixed Martial Art (MMA) in Nigeria and ultimately the continent of Africa. While challenging students on the need to embrace MMA sessions, the former freestyle wrestler posited that Mixed Martial Art comprises devastating striking arts, which are aerobic intensive and helps to build speed, power and endurance while learning new skills. While elaborating on the benefits of Mixed Martial Art, the Nigerian-American professional fighter identified MMA as suitable not only for men but also women of all skill levels and that its teachings will help interested learners to combine and transit between grappling and striking elements in self- defense.
Speaking on his partnership with UNILAG, Usman said the introduction of MMA in the country was to create huge opportunities for interested youths in mixed marshal art. He stressed that his intention is to help unravel the innate potentials in Nigerian youths which could help set a career that will impact them and their families. While receiving the current UFC Welterweight Champion, an elated Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, FAS,who was in company of other management staff of the university expressed his appreciation to the international athlete especially for his choice of UNILAG for his gesture towards the development of sports in Nigeria. Prof. Ogundipe averred that the importance of sports in fostering national unity cannot be overemphasized. The Vice-Chancellor and other senior members of staff of the university were at the UNILAG Sports Centre on a facility tour with Kamaru Usman while students trooped out in their numbers to catch a glimpse of the MMA super star.
The visit by the international sports celebrity is part of a series of activities which is in partnership with a promotion company, 5Five 4Four Limited to organize a series of Mixed Martial Arts fights nights in Lagos, Nigeria and to build a flagship project to encourage the development of the sport within the University of Lagos sport complex.