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Despite suffering his first Mixed Martial Arts defeat in the hands of hard-hitting Polish light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz, Israel Adesanya still left the UFC 259 arena as the highest-paid fighter. Adesanya, along with Blachowicz; women's bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes and challenger Meagan Anderson and Petr Yan and Aljamain Sterling were the main card for the night but it was the Nigerian-born New Zealander who went home with the heaviest purse. According to, Adesanya took home an estimated $1m for the fight and a guaranteed $40,000 fight week incentive while his conqueror, Blachowicz earned $750,000 for his win and $40,000 fight week incentive. Adesanya's pay for the fight could be further increased as his contract for UFC 259 included a payout from the overall Pay Per View income, estimated at $1m, but his opponent is not entitled to the PPV largess. The 31-year-old earned $690,000 from his middleweight title defence against Brazilian Paulo Costa in September 2020. Another Nigerian, Kennedy Nzechukwu, who earned a second-round knockout win over Adesanya's teammate, Carlos Ulberg, was awarded the Fight of The Night award, which carried a bonus of $50,000. Nzechukwu's original pay was an $18,000 base fight salary, $18,000 win bonus and a $4,000 Reebok sponsorship deal. By SaharaReporters, New York Source;
Some football fans from Nigeria who travelled to watch the ongoing UEFA European Championship hosted in Russia have raised the alarm after being held at the airport. According to the Nigerians, they were locked up in a place in Moscow without access to food and water. A video obtained by SaharaReporters shows the football fans shouting in a big hall. One of them made the video and his voice could be heard in the background. The voice said, "This is Moscow, this is where they kept us for no good reasons. We applied for Fan ID tickets and after applying, for no reason they denied us entry. "There is no reason at all for denying us, no food, no water for the past four days. We have not tasted anything. People are hungry, people are lamenting. This is too much, is that how Russians behave?" Dozens of Nigerian football enthusiasts who were victims of a scam, ran out of money to buy tickets home from Russia during the 2018 world cup. Some of them had acquired Fan ID tickets in their home country on the promise they could watch World Cup matches and then stay in Russia where work opportunities were awaiting them. But they soon realised it was a scam. By SaharaReporters, New York Source:
A Nigerian journalist, Babatunde Ojora has asked Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp to apologise for regarding the African Cup of Nations as a little tournament. The Liverpool manager, following his side's 2-0 win against Porto, was called up on what he said on Saturday when he described the Africa Cup of Nations a 'little tournament' while talking about international breaks. But Ojoro who works with OJB Sports demanded an apology and believed Klopp would never say a 'little tournament in Europe' “Hi Jurgen, during your last pre-match presser, you deliberately called the Africa Cup of Nations a "little tournament". “I think it's an insult to the players, an insult to the fans, an insult to the people on the continent and I think you owe the continent an apology,” he told the coach. A taken aback Klopp replied, "I didn't mean it like that, come on," Klopp said. "So I was not even close to it being the idea in my mind that I want to talk about the African Cup of Nations as a 'little tournament' or the continent of Africa as a little continent, not at all. "What I meant was, if you watch the whole press conference then you might have understood it the right way if you wanted to, because I said there are no international breaks until March now. "'I said 'oh there's a little tournament in January' and I didn't mean a little tournament, I was just saying it's still a tournament, it's ironic. It's still a tournament, a big one. We lose our best players to that tournament..." The journalist retorted and said, "But you wouldn't say that in Europe, you wouldn't say a 'little tournament in Europe...'" "I am not a native speaker but if you want to understand me wrong, you can do that all the time,” Klopp replied. "I know that I would never think like this. I don't understand why you thought this to be honest, but that's really not OK as I would never do that. But that is it now." By SaharaReporters, New York Source::
Israel-based Nigerian footballer, Ibezito Ogbonna has said he is lucky to be alive after his apartment in the Israeli city of Ashdod was hit by a rocket fired from Gaza last week. Ogbonna, who was a former under-23 striker was at home with his wife and two young daughters when the building suffered a direct hit, BBC Sports Africa reports. The 38-year-old, who won the Israeli Cup with Hapoel Tel Aviv in 2006 and 2007, was injured from the impact of the rocket and taken to hospital but his family were unhurt. The incident was part of a recent 11-day escalation in violence between Israel and Gaza. Ogbonna was quoted as saying, "I am extremely lucky to be alive after this rocket was fired and it's third time lucky for me after being involved in a car crash and a horrible robbery incident in Nigeria. "We were all aware of the attempt [possible strike] and we always get the warning signs about possible missiles. We often hear sirens echo across the city's streets which tends to prompt people to rush to a shelter. "On this day I was having breakfast and I heard the wailing siren. Normally, we'd run to the shelter because every house has its own shelter. I felt it's the normal warning, but within seconds it turned out to be an unlucky day for me. "I heard the loud bang of the rocket and felt the immediate impact, I was thrown into the air and it took me from my dining room to my living room. "I could see glasses and other objects flying around me. I hit the ground, I stood up to look around for my family. They were very lucky too, my wife had taken cover with my daughters, I think one of the doors landed on her. "I could see the whole building was gone. We are talking about a four-storey building with about 30 people. The security doors between my kitchen and living room ripped out and everything totally wrecked. "Cars were smashed and it was then I realised I had a cut and my knee was hurting badly before the paramedics took me in an ambulance to the hospital. "I was in the hospital for a few hours. I was treated and had different tests just to check that everything was okay with me. They weren't sure I was fine considering what had happened." He continued, "It's difficult to explain the impact of what I saw. Coming out of this alive was a complete miracle. We are talking about the same attack that has left several people badly wounded. "We've had casualties since this thing started, but you are just grateful to be alive and not listed among the dead. "A lot of families have been left homeless with their possessions destroyed and a place they've always called home flattened." With no home to return to, the Ogbonnas and 13 other families are now staying at a hotel as the Israeli government look to resettle them. But the former Kaizer Chiefs of South Africa striker is still remembered fondly by fans of Hapoel Tel Aviv, despite leaving the club 14 years ago. After scoring 40 goals in 132 appearances for Israel's second most successful side, there is a renewed bond being forged as the club's supporters have launched a fund-raising campaign to help him get back on his feet. "Hapoel Tel Aviv fans have been incredibly amazing, without my knowledge they had started a fundraising to help support me," Ogbonna added. "As soon as the news broke that my apartment was hit, they started reaching out and calling my phone. I didn't ask them for anything yet they were offering to help. "I remember one of them got my contact and I think he put it out on the fan page for other supporters to reach out. Messages of love, prayers and unbelievable support from a club I left over a decade ago. "Some were telling me to come over to theirs if I had no place to stay. They've gone out to buy stuff and clothes for me and my family. "I was getting deliveries of different things at the hotel without even knowing about it. I don't even know these guys. It's a massive love and I can't thank them enough. "It's another proof that wherever you find yourself as a footballer or whatever you do. Be a good person and respect everyone because you never know when life will bring you back again." Despite his experience, Ogbonna, who now has Israeli citizenship, however, said Israel is a safe place. He remains confident that Israel will continue to attract talent from Africa and his native country. He said: "Israel is still a safe place and despite what has happened here, I believe African players will continue to come to this beautiful country. "A lot of Nigerians have made a name for themselves playing here and I hope we can get more talented players to come over here. One thing I know is that life will return to normal and everyone will continue to feel safe. "The government here will continue to ensure the safety of everyone on this great nation and personally, I always feel safer here than anywhere else in the world." By SaharaReporters, New York Source:
Floyd Mayweather plans to work with Anthony Joshua ahead of his £200 million mega-fight with Tyson Fury. According to the Mirror UK, Mayweather was at the ringside last December to watch Joshua retain his heavyweight world titles by knocking out Kubrat Pulev. He was heard offering tactical advice during the fight and visited the champion's dressing room afterwards. And as Joshua and Fury finally put pen to paper on their proposed undisputed fight, Mayweather revealed he will reunite with the once-beaten Londoner. “I look forward to working with Joshua real soon, we talk all the time," he said. “It's a very interesting fight. Anthony Joshua has a lot of experience and Tyson Fury as well has a lot of experience but with Anthony Joshua losing a fight [to Andy Ruiz Jr], it helped him become stronger. "I met Tyson Fury on a few occasions; he's great guy and very interesting. After the fight I like to see him sing. I haven't seen him fight a lot of times.” On Monday, promoter Eddie Hearn announced Joshua and Fury have signed a deal for two bouts. "The hard part is always getting everybody to put pen to paper. "But this was a major effort from all parties to get this over the line. You had rival promoters, rival networks and rival fighters,” Hearn said. “We've already had approaches from eight or nine sites. The offers have come from multiple countries in the Middle East, from Asia, Eastern Europe and America." The deal is understood to represent a 50-50 split for the first fight, with the winner taking the larger 60 per cent share for a rematch. Hearn's announcement comes just days after Fury insisted the fight against Joshua was "nowhere near" being made. The fight between the duo will see all four belts contested in a heavyweight bout for the first time in history. In 1999, Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield both competed for three heavyweight belts. BY SAHARAREPORTERS, NEW YORK SOURCE;