March 2021 saw Francis Ngannou beat Stipe Miocic to become the UFC’s third ever African champion. He joined Israel Adesanya and Kamaru Usman in Africa’s rapid rise in the UFC.
As three of the most fearsome champions the organisation has ever seen, it is no wonder why Dana White is insistent on bringing the UFC to Africa for its first event.
Since the birth of the UFC, events have taken place in North and South America, Europe, Asia and more recently in the Middle East.
But never has an event taken place in Africa.
Speaking to BBC Sport Africa, UFC president Dana White discussed his desire to host an event in the continent.
“When Conor became champion in Ireland, it exploded in Europe and now with Usman, Adesanya and Ngannou, it’s blowing up in Africa,” he said. “When everything gets back to normal, we can get over to Africa.”
White went on to discuss the importance of finding the talent that exists in Africa.
“I have a lot of plans in Africa, not just to fight over there, but to open a couple of performance institutes and start cultivating some talent from that,” he added.
“My goal is to get kids off the street and into the gym. The amount of unbelievable talent that’s going to come out of there is going to be insane. You have to have these guys that are hungry – and Africa is full of guys that are hungry.”
Usman vs Covington 2
With all three African champions currently sat firmly atop their thrones, welterweight champion Kamaru Usman currently has his focus set on a rematch with all-American fighter Colby Covington.
Their first fight saw Usman win by a fifth round TKO, and in devastating fashion, but the bout was close throughout.
This time, Usman will look to retain his belt while Covington is keen to claim it as his own.The pair will face off on November 6 at Madison Square Garden. – Marca