Mixed Martial Arts berths in Nigeria

Warrior Sports Championship (WSC), a mixed martial arts (MMA) Promotions Company in Africa, has confirmed its plan to introduce its brand of martial arts, arguably the most competitive global martial arts genre, into Nigeria. The confirmation was given during a private chat in Lagos.

By this development, qualified male and female fighters of Nigerian origin from select weight categories will square up against foreign fighters for the first time in the country using a global format. The fighters are to fight for honour and prize money in front of a capacity audience.

Considered the fastest growing genre of martial arts, MMA, which involves the use of kicks, punches, wrestling and submission holds to overwhelm an opponent; is to become competitively open to Nigerian fighters in the first quarter of 2019, according to Jeff Taylor, president of Warrior Sports Championship (WSC), Africa.

Mr Taylor revealed that his organisation, the WSC, has an ambitious plan to grow the sport in the country:

“We will work closely with government, corporate organisations, coaches, practitioners and lovers of MMA to promote the sport in Nigeria; just as we will also use our resources and experience to train practitioners and the media on the dynamics of the art.”

Mr. Taylor clarifies that contrary to misgivings, the WSC is set to become a unifying force and not a divisive one in the Nigerian martial arts confraternity: “I want to say that we are not in competition with anyone – rather, we hope to become partners in progress with those who can key into our vision to make MMA a household name in Nigeria.” he said.

Coordinator of WSC in the country, Mr. Iyke Nwobodo said that his outfit welcomes fighters and practitioners from other arms of martial arts who wish to compete in the MMA as organised by the Warrior Sports Championship: “Because our sport is inclusive, we will allow trained fighters from other arms of the martial arts family to compete in the MMA as long as they meet the cut.”

Managing Director of Hexagon Production and Media Solutions, Olusegun Fayose, whose company is responsible for promotions and event management for Warrior Sport Championship expressed delight in partnering with WSC to grow a new set of role models out of the nation’s teeming population of youths.

Mr. Fayose, a senior taekwondo practitioner, says he is positive that the introduction of MMA into the country will further strengthen Nigeria’s position as a leading force in sports on the African continent and globally.

The mixed martial arts as it is known today was popularised in very recent times by the Gracie family from Brazil who took the sport to the US and named it Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Since then the sport has grown to net huge revenues through gate takings, Pay Per View (PPV) earnings and huge fight bonuses earned by top fighters such as Connor McGregor, Tyron Woodley, Khabib Nurmagomedov and a host of others. In Nigeria, fighters such as Ndidi Alonu (who fights outside the country) and Emmanuel Onoja are fighters to look out for.

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Olusegun Fayose

Olusegun Sunday Fayose, founder of RovingNaija.com is a Marketing Communication executive with experience in Corporate Communication, Public Relations, Branding and Advertising. He is also a seasoned media professional with roots in print, broadcast and online journalism. Segun, who last managed the Group Corporate Communication function of MultiChoice Nigeria, is upbeat that through responsible, fair, accurate and courageous reporting; and the support of readers, followers and patrons, Nigeria takes a step closer to a regime of accountability, fairness and equity in governance.

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