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UFC Star Adesanya Set For Crucial Middleweight Title Defence4 minutes read



All is set for the much anticipated UFC 253 clash at “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates between undefeated Nigerian-born middleweight champion and the equally undefeated and fearsome Paulo Costa of Brazil.

The bout will be the first UFC title fight featuring unbeaten fighters since Rashad Evans faced Lyoto Machida for the light heavyweight title at UFC 98.

31-year-old Adesanya (19-0, 8-0 in the UFC) will be making the second defense of the title he captured last year from Robert Whittaker. His first defense was a unanimous decision over Yoel Romero in March.

Costa (13-0, 5-0 UFC) also made his most recent appearance against Romero, winning by unanimous decision in August 2019. That was the only fight the only fight that went the distance. In his other 12 fights, he scored 11 knockouts and 1 submission. Since then he has been sidelined by a bicep injury that required surgery.

The two have a well documented ongoing feud which will be settled once and for all in the octagon in a fight UFC president Dana White has said has a potential to be named Fight of The Year.

“I don’t know what you guys think, but I predict that’s ‘Fight of the Year,’” White told reporters in Las Vegas, Nevada after UFC 252 on Saturday 15 August. “I think stylistically, it’s the perfect fight. If you look at the way Costa fights, he puts pressure on you, he stays in your face the whole time. Adesanya likes to stay on the outside and pick you apart.

“I think that fight is going to be an absolute war. Just stylistically, it matches up really, really well, and both guys are animals. Both guys want this fight really bad, and I think it’s going to be ‘Fight of the Year.’”

On his part, Adesanya is one of 13 fighters in UFC history to win an undisputed title with an undefeated record. Reports from his camp indicate that he is in the shape of his life. He has taken to Twitter over the last week to show how relaxed he was ahead of the big clash and revealed that he is more focused than ever before.

“It’s the best I felt, definitely,” he said. “My body has already been changing these past three weeks. Now we’re just waiting for the call. In hindsight the experience [of the lockdown] has been good for all of us. We were just living the martial arts lifestyle.

“I just understand what’s at stake and that’s motivation enough,” he continued. “[The trash talk] is all a little bit amusing but I don’t dwell too much on it. It’s all part of fighting. Ever since we were kids if people don’t like each other they talk s*** and eventually they duke it out. But while they’re talking s*** it’s all part of it. It’s all part of fighting.

“We know what to watch for with him. Other people have let the moment take over. But I’ve been in those moments many times in many fighting codes, so there will be nothing new.”

For Costa, he wants to leave the decision out of the hands of the judges and end the contest in spectacular fashion.

“I’m going out there to finish him,” the 29-year-old said. “I’m coming to show who I am. What I came here to do is to finish this guy and become the face of [the UFC].”

Costa said the 30-foot cage that will be used in Abu Dhabi, as opposed to the 25-foot cage that is used in Las Vegas at Apex, will give Adesanya more room to move and create angles.

But Costa said it’s a misnomer to believe that he’ll just allow Adesanya to stick and move.

“He’s going to try to run away a lot, we know this,” Costa said. “He wants to avoid the collision, but he cannot do that forever. Whether it’s the first round or the second round, I’m going to get him into position where he can’t avoid the fight and that will be the opportunity for me to show who is the best in this game.”

Central Africa Sports News

Cameroon Striker Bahoken Issued Suspended Prison Sentence



Cameroon and Angers striker Stephane Bahoken has been handed a four-month suspended prison sentence with a fine of €2,000 for acts of domestic violence against his partner. He also has a three-month suspended sentence with a fine of €6,875 for traffic violation.

The Cameroon international striker was arrested by the French police earlier this week for allegedly assaulting his spouse and also threatening her with violence.

He came out of police custody after he was charged to court where he was punished for the traffic offence he committed in the summer and the domestic violence.

Bahoken released a statement through his lawyer, Florine Talon, vowing not to make anyone talk about him beyond the football pitch.

“The Public Prosecutor’s Office has chosen a measure of appearance on prior admission of guilt, an alternative option to the classic trial before a criminal court, chosen when the personality of the defendant and the relative gravity of the charges justify it,” the statement read.

“Mr. Bahoken, who is unknown to the courts, spontaneously explained himself and showed himself to be extremely cooperative with both the gendarmes and the magistrates.

“With regard to the acts with which he was accused, it emerges from the investigation that in isolation, Mr. Bahoken and his partner may both have had regrettable attitudes and words which fortunately remained at the stage of words, in the absence of blows.

“Be that as it may, Mr. Bahoken who has never wished to harm his partner, bitterly regrets these heated exchanges and wishes their separation will continue in the best interests of the child.

“In any case, Stephane Bahoken accepts his reprehensible behaviour, accepts the sentence without complacency. And does not intend to make anyone else talk about him beyond the football stadiums.”

Bahoken played for 80 minutes as Angers defeated Rennes 2-1 at the Roazhon Park in a Ligue 1 game. He now remains a doubt for their next league game at home against Nice this weekend having missed a lot of the training sessions this week due to his detention.

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East Africa Sports News

Tusker FC Sign Former Gor Mahia Defender Ochieng



Tusker FC sign former Gor Mahia defender Ochieng

Kenya Premier League side Tusker FC have confirmed the signing of former Gor Mahia defender Wellington Ochieng.

Tusker FC have been strengthening for the new season as they look to challenge for the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Premier League title.

“Ochieng’ is now our player, he signed with us yesterday [Thursday],” Tusker FC chairman Daniel Aduda said.

“He is an experienced player who will give us much-needed experience at the back. Ochieng’ is also versatile and I believe he will be a valuable asset to the team.”

A couple of weeks ago Ochieng was released by his club alongside Edwin Lavatsa.

The defender is the third player signed by Tusker FC in the transfer window. They started by getting experienced centre-back Eugene Asike to extend his stay at the club by one year. Goalkeeper Robert Mboya also extended his stay at the club by another season as well.

Christopher Oruchum was the first signing for the former champions from the 13-time champions AFC Leopards.

“One of the things that motivated me to sign for Tusker is that Tusker is one of the biggest clubs in Kenya whereby we stand a chance to be exposed to big teams in Africa and outside the country,” the defender said after completing the move.

“Having joined a team that was high-flying the previous season, I hope and pray that I will also add something and also help the team to achieve more than they achieved last season.

“There was a time I was really close to signing for Tusker when I was at Thika United but the deal did not materialize then I ended up going to AFC Leopards, then from there I have the chance again of joining this great club, which I have longed to play for.”

Tusker FC last won the league trophy four years ago.

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Akpeyi recalled by Nigeria for Sierra Leone games



Akpeyi recalled by Nigeria for Sierra Leone games

Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi has been recalled to the Nigeria national team for November’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying double-header against Sierra Leone.

Akpeyi’s last game for the Super Eagles of Nigeria was in November 17, 2019 against Lesotho at the Setsoto Satium, Maseru where Nigeria won by 4-2.

Injury to the Kaizer Chiefs shot-stopper led to his exclusion from the Nigerian squad that faced African Champions Algeria and later Tunisia in October’s international friendlies.

Akpeyi has now been invited to the Super Eagles squad and is set to compete for a starters spot when Nigeria faces Sierra Leone in the 2022 AFCON qualifier.

“Daniel Akpeyi returns to the Nigerian team for their upcoming Group L home and away games against Sierra Leone,” a statement from Chiefs read.

“Akpeyi who has already played in the Super Eagles’ opening two games of the qualifiers against Benin and Lesotho, will face Sierra Leone at home in Benin City on 13 November and in Free Town on 17 November.”

The shot-stopper missed out on Kaizer Chiefs 3-0 defeat by Mamelodi Sundowns, but made a return to the team when his side got a 1-0 away victory against Chippa United at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

Sierra Leone are looking to qualify for the AFCON tournament for the third time, but the are at the bottom of Group L having started their qualification campaign poorly.

The first leg of the double-header will be played on November 13 at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Nigeria, while the return leg will be held four days later at the National Stadium, Freetown, Sierra Leone.

The Super Eagles of Nigeria have featured at the biennial showpiece 17 times, emerging victorious on three occasions, finishing as runners-up four times and third for a record eight times.

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