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Minister hails Israel Adesanya after Paulo Costa knock-out to retain UFC title

Nigeria’s Sports Minister, Sunday Dare has hailed Nigerian-born NewZealand fighter Israel Adesanya after he knocked out bitter rival Paulo Costa in their UFC fight.

The fight which took place in Abu Dhabi saw Adesanya pick apart his far bigger opponent before landing brutal ground strikes in the second round.

His victory means he retains his UFC middleweight championship title, and Dare, who took to Twitter to celebrate the 31-year-old, expressed gladness that Nigeria was on the podium again.

Meanwhile, Brazilian Costa, who was left bloodied and bruised on the canvas, now has his undefeated record in tatters.

Read Also: Israel Adesanya’s UFC title defence against Paulo Costa moved to Sept 26

After the fight, Adesanya took the chance to call out Jared Cannonier as he confirmed he would fight the American, if he could beat Robert Whittaker.

He said: “I know this game, I don’t just play this on EA Sports, I play this for real, so when I do this, I know what I’m talking about.

“I still have to watch it again, little bit sloppy, but I’m a dog and I do what I do.

“I still don’t like him. I don’t know him personally, I don’t wish he dies or anything, he’s alive, I let him be alive.

“This is the game we play, this is violence and I told you guys that it was going to be violent and I said it, it’s going to be violent and it’s going to end fast and that’s what I did. I’m fresh, I can go next weekend, I can go anytime.

“I want to spend time with my family because it’s been a crazy year, so I want to go spend time with my people.

“Cannonier, I want Cannonier next.”

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Ben Ugbana

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