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Nigerian UFC fighter, Kamaru Usman, loses rematch fight to Leon Edwards

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Nigerian UFC fighter, Kamaru Usman, on Sunday morning, failed in another bid to reclaim his welterweight title from champion after losing to his conqueror, Leon Edwards, in a
unanimous decision.

This loss would be the third the “Nigerian Nightmare” will be suffering in the hands of Edwards in his quest to take back his title.

The much anticipated Edwards vs. Usman 3 was the main event at UFC 286, with the Jamaican-born Edwards proving that his previous wins over the Nigerian in August 2022 was no fluke.

A report by Yahoo Sports said “Edwards out-landed Usman 120-87 in significant strikes and landed 74 per cent of his significant strikes. Usman attempted 15 takedowns but landed only four and could do little with them.”

“Though Edwards admitted afterwards that the fight was his hardest to date, Usman was not as good as he was last August until the late head kick knocked him out,” it added.

The defeat also means that Usman has now lost two consecutive fights for the first time in his professional career and it is hard where he will go from here.

In the post-match interview in the ring, Usman said he believed he had done enough to have won.

“I think it was a close fight. Great game plan; you know, I have always said it from the start, I will see Edwards again. We did it and I am not done,” Usman, who now has a 20-4 win-loss record, said.

“I have always given him props for all that he has been able to accomplish and just like me, he is a brother like myself and much respect. London, you have got a hell of a guy, a great champion.”

“I will get back with my coaches because you know, I am one of that guys-I can’t sit for too long,” he said when asked of his future plans.

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Simbine wades in on Omanyala, Tebogo “Africa Sprints King’ debate

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South African sprint sensation, Akani Simbine, has weighed in on the “African Sprint King” debate between Africa’s fastest man and Commonwealth Games champion, Ferdinand Omanyala of Kenya, and Letsile Tebogo of Botswana on who should rightfully hold the title.

Simbine who defeated Omanyala in the 100m at the Atlanta City Games on Sunday, shared his thoughts in an interview with Track and Field network on whom between him, Omanyala and Tebogo is the best sprinter in Africa.

Simbine who is regarded as one of Africa’s and world’s best sprinters in history, while reacting to Omanyala’s recent declaration of himself as the king of sprints on the continent pointing to his African record and title as well as his Commonwealth gold medal, said he was waiting for the Paris Olympics to know whom among them should wear the crown.

The claim by Omanyala had put him on a collision course with Tebogo, the world 100m silver and 200m bronze medallist.

Tebogo, in an earlier interview, had said Omanyala is yet to prove his claims where it matters following his semi-final exit at the Tokyo Olympics and seventh place finish at the 2023 World Championships where the 20-year-old won two medals.

“To me, it does not make sense if you are the African champion, but where it mattered the most, he could not step in,” Tebogo had fired at Omanyala.

To prove his point, Simbine dusted Omanyala to take the track in the 100m at the Atlanta Games in a world leading time of 9.90 while the Kenyan was second in 10.00.

In the interview, Simbine simply said:

“I am waiting for that conversation, I never left. We will see,” suggesting he should be among those being discussed, especially with the Paris Olympics on the horizon.

Simbine, a former African champion and record holder, had had those two titles were taken away from him by Omanyala who set a new mark of 9.77 in 2021 while he is also the 100m African champion.

But based on current form, Simbine trumps both Omanyala and Tebogo in 100m given he is the first to dip under 10 seconds this year.

His 9.90 came after he had managed 10.01 on two occasions, both recorded in April when he finished first, while Omanyala ran 10.03 at the Kip Keino Classic where he finished a disappointing fifth, before improving it to 10.00 in Atlanta.

Tebogo meanwhile managed 10.13 in his first 100m of the season at the Los Angeles Grand Prix last weekend.

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Moroccan steeplechase star El Bakkali aims for gold at Paris Olympics

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Morocco’s steeplechase champion, Soufiane El Bakkali, says he is aiming for the gold medal at the upcoming Paris Olympics after clinching victory in the 3000m at the 15th Mohammed VI International Athletics Meeting on Sunday with a season’s best time of 8:09.40.

At the meeting which was part of the Diamond League series, El Bakkali narrowly edged out his fiercest rival, Ethiopian Wale Getnet, who clocked a time of 8:09.78, and Kenyan Amos Serem, who completed the race in 8:10.82.

“Despite my long absence due to injury, I always kept hope. I trained intensely to win this victory, which was not easy,” El Bakkali stated after the race.

He added that he adopted a different race strategy for this event as anticipation builds for the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris.

El Bakkali who said he is acutely aware of the high expectations from Moroccan supporters, called on fans to continue their support as he aims to secure the gold medal.

The fourth stage of the Diamond League brings together athletes from all over the world, including Olympic champions and world champions.

El Bakkali’s victory in Marrakech marks a significant milestone in his preparation for the 2024 Paris Olympics, where he aims to defend his Olympic title in the steeplechase.

The Mohammed VI Meeting in Marrakech is one of Africa’s premier track and field events, attracting many of the world’s top athletes and El Bakkali’s victory was a testament to his strong form as he gears up for the Olympics where he will face formidable competition from athletes like Getnet and Serem, who pushed him hard in Marrakech.

With the Olympics just under 67 days away, the Moroccan said the victory boosts his confidence, confirming that his training is on track.

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