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Israel Adesanya Loses UFC Middleweight Championship To Strickland

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Nigerian-born New Zealand professional mixed martial artist and kickboxer, Israel Adesanya, has lost his UFC middleweight champion title to Sean Strickland.

Naija Latest Gist reports that Strickland, an American mixed martial arts scored higher points above Adesanya at the Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, Australia.

A first-round knockdown by the American was the highlight of the fight that went the whole five rounds.

All three judges scored the fight 49-46 in favour of Strickland, the new middleweight world champion. The 32-year-old puts nonstop pressure and steady hits on Adesanya to win the fight.

It is back to the drawing board for the Nigerian-born fighter Adesanya as he was on the back foot throughout the clash at UFC 293.

This is his third loss bringing his record to 24-3 now, while Strickland improves to 28-5.

Israel Adesanya Insists Strickland Won’t Be Difficult To Beat

Two days before the clash, Adesanya boasted that beating Sean Strickland wouldn’t be difficult for him.

Recall that Adesanya was supposed to fight South African MMA star, Dricus Du Plessis, but he withdrew from the UFC 293 due to fitness issues.

Hence, Sean Strickland, who is said to be at loggerheads with Adesanya, had to come in for Du Plessis, which is an opportunity for them to continue their rivalry.

Reports claimed that Strickland dislikes Adesanya because he likes anime, wears nail polish, and is, in his opinion, generally reliable.

On the other hand, Adesanya seizes every chance to antagonize Strickland. He recently declared that he would face off against the American while sporting painted nails.

When asked about his forthcoming fight with Strickland earlier, Adesanya said the American fighter wouldn’t be as much of a problem for him to handle.

Adesanya recounted his ordeal with Brazilian fighter Pereira who defeated the Nigerian fighter three times before he bounced back to defeat him earlier this year.

Difficulty? Nah, I don’t think it’s that difficult”, Adesanya said of his forthcoming fight with Strickland.
“But again this is this is where you don’t underestimate someone, and also, you don’t overestimate someone. I don’t think it’s that difficult I’m not going to put him on a pedestal like he’s God I never did that with Pereira and after he beat me three times, I was just like I can beat this guy, I know I can beat this guy I don’t fear any man so. This guy is not on that level, and I know I can beat him he’s not that difficult,” 
he said.

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France FA Gives Update On Kylian Mbappe’s Injury After Clash With Austria

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The French Football Federation (FFF) has confirmed that Kylian Mbappe suffered a broken nose during the Euro 2024 game against Austria on Monday, June 17, 2024.

Kylian Mbappe who was expected to lead the assault on Austria found himself on the receiving end when his face caught the shoulder of Kevin Danso while anticipating a free-kick from Antoine Griezmann in the 85th minute of the game.

The incident left the 25-year-old Frenchman with a bleeding nose, and had to be attended to for minutes before he got back to his feet. Funny enough, he was shown a yellow card in the 89th minute for going down seconds after returning to his feet.

Coach Didier Deschamps had to substitute him in the 90th minute with veteran striker, Olivier Giroud as the game ended in a 1-0 win courtesy of an own goal from Maximilian Wöber in the 38th minute.

After the game, the FFF confirmed that Kylian Mbappe might play the rest of the European Championship with a face mask. However, the football body didn’t confirm whether or not the new Real Madrid signee will be available for France’s next Euro 2024 game against the Netherlands on June 21.

“He has returned to the base camp of the French team,” the FFF said.

“He will undergo treatment in the coming days, without undergoing surgery immediately.”

During the post-game press conference, coach Didier Deschamps said: “We need to check it out but it seems quite complicated, which is really very unfortunate for us. He didn’t get off lightly.”

He added: “I’m not going to go into hypothesis but the French team with Kylian will always be stronger with him.

“If the news doesn’t go along these lines then we will have to fight without him.”

Note that Kylian Mbappe has scored 47 goals in 80 appearances for France so far in his international career.
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Euro 2024: Lukaku’s brace disallowed as Slovakia stun Belgium

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Belgium suffered a 1-0 defeat to Slovakia, leaving them with a mountain to climb in their Euro 2024 campaign in Germany.

Romelu Lukaku’s two disallowed goals added to the frustration for the Red Devils at the Deutsche Bank Park.

The match started badly for Belgium when Ivan Schranz capitalized on a poor pass by Jeremy Doku, putting Slovakia ahead early.

Schranz’s strike, just minutes into the game, ended up being a bitter pill for the Belgians.

Lukaku had two of his goals disallowed in the encounter – Getty image

Belgium’s star striker Romelu Lukaku thought he had equalized twice, only to be denied by the officials on both occasions.

His first goal was ruled out for offside, a decision met with dismay by the Belgian supporters.

The second disallowed goal came after a review by the snickometer, which detected a handball in the build-up.

Despite their struggles later on, Slovakia held on for all three points in the Group E encounter.

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Official: Chidera Ejuke becomes Sevilla’s first summer signing

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Nigerian international Chidera Ejuke has officially joined Sevilla, becoming their first signing of the 2024/25 season.

The club in a statement welcomed the Zaria born, who is versatile in attack but primarily plays on the left wing.

His European career began in 2017 with Valerenga in Norway.

At 19, Ejuke made a huge impact at Valerenga, scoring 15 goals and providing six assists in 59 appearances over two seasons.

His performance earned him a move to Heerenveen in the Netherlands, where he netted 10 goals and six assists in just one season.

Ejuke’s next step was a transfer to CSKA Moscow, where he added 10 goals and eight assists to his record, and gained European experience with five UEFA Europa League appearances.

Untold Story Of How Manu Garba Rescued The Career Of Heerenveen Star  Forward Chidera Ejuke - OwnGoal Nigeria

Recent seasons saw him on loan at Hertha Berlin and Royal Antwerp.

At Antwerp, he made four UEFA Champions League appearances this season under coach Mark van Bommel.

On international level, Ejuke debuted for Nigeria in 2020 after progressing through various youth levels, including the Under-17.

He has since earned eight caps, participating in World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaigns for the Super Eagles.

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