Blachowicz Stuns Previously-Unbeaten Adesanya At UFC 259

 

Jan Blachowicz upset the odds with a grinding unanimous points decision over the previously unbeaten Israel Adesanya to retain his world light heavyweight title at UFC 259 in Las Vegas on Sunday.

“If I had knocked him out it would have been better, but anyway I love this win because he is one of the best in the world,” said the 38-year-old Polish fighter after the judges scored it 49-46, 49-45, and 49-45 in his favour.

It was the first defeat inflicted on the 31-year-old Adesanya, who was stepping up in weight, in his 21-fight career.

The New Zealander, the middleweight title holder, was looking to become only the fifth double-weight world champion in UFC history.

The Nigeria-born fighter found the bigger size of Blachowicz difficult to handle, especially when the Pole drew his opponent into clinches and down on to the mat late in the bout.

Blachowicz only really became a contender after passing the age of 35 and had also been the underdog when he won the vacant title last year against American Dominick Reyes.

“I thought that he would be a little bit faster but he hit harder than I thought,” said Blachowicz, who has spent his career being underestimated, after a successful first defence of the title.

“He was slower and harder which is something I didn’t expect. I knew that if I took him down, I’m bigger, stronger a little bit, so I would be better on the ground.

“I just had to wait for a good moment. I should have used my left hand more, put more pressure on him, but game plan is one (thing), fighting is a different thing.”

Blachowicz, whose win-loss record improved to 27-9, initially looked for a one-shot punch to finish the fight early but Adesanya opted to score points by picking at Blachowicz from range.

Blachowicz began to take control in the fourth. A big left hand and a takedown saw him keep Adesanya under wraps on the ground.

He had Adesanya down again in the fifth for a sustained period of pressure that put the decision beyond doubt.

“Back to the drawing board,” Adesanya said.

There were three world title fights on the card but no fans in attendance as the United States still battles with the coronavirus pandemic.

The opening championship fight made history when Russian Petr Yan was disqualified for an illegal knee to the head against American challenger Aljamain Sterling, who was deemed the winner -– the first time a UFC title had changed hands in that fashion.

Brazil’s Amanda “The Lion” Nunes strengthened her claim to be the greatest female fighter of all time when she forced a first-round submission from Australian Megan Anderson.

The 32-year-old featherweight world champion Nunes -– who also holds the UFC bantamweight belt -– is unbeaten in her past 12 fights, and recently became a mum for the first time.

“You know they say a lion is always dangerous but when she has a baby you can’t stop her, ever,” Nunes said.

Usman Outclasses Masvidal As UFC Debuts On ‘Fight Island’ In UAE

 

Kamaru Usman put on a ‘Fight Island’ masterclass Sunday to retain his Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight world title by grinding down a brave Jorge Masvidal in Abu Dhabi.

“I’m at the top of the mountain and everyone’s looking at me,” declared the 33-year-old Usman after scoring a unanimous points decision 50-45, 50-45 and 49-46 on the three judges’ cards.

The Nigerian-American Usman (17-1) looked the fresher with Masvidal (35-14) having taken the UFC 251 headline bout at just six days’ notice when Brazil’s Gilbert Burns (19-3) tested positive for COVID-19 and was unable to travel.

The Las Vegas-based UFC pulled off a power-packed schedule with three world title fights to kick off a series of mixed martial arts cards.

It helped fulfil supremo Dana White’s vision of a coronavirus-free ‘Fight Island’, something he first floated when the pandemic caused a global shutdown of sport in March.

UFC has decamped to Abu Dhabi’s locked down Yas Island in the United Arab Emirates until the end of July to isolate fighters from the threat of the COVID-19 and ensure the shows roll on.

Strict protocols mean athletes and staff are tested twice before leaving for the UAE, and twice again on arrival, before spending 48 hours in quarantine — measures that caught out Usman’s original opponent Burns (19-3).

Usman never gave the 35-year-old replacement Masvidal the space to land the combinations for which he is noted, and he monstered Cuban-American when the action hit the cage, and the canvas.

“Gamebred (Masvidal) is the biggest, baddest dude out there right now and I had to take him,” said Usman.

“I know a lot of noise was made about him preparing on short notice but all these guys are preparing for one guy and that’s me.

“I’m just at a level better. I have more tools in the tool box and when I need to I can pull them out and use them.”

The pair had exchanged heated words via social media in the lead-up to the event -– Masvidal claiming his opponent had “crossed lines” – and they were chipping away at each other in between rounds.

But there were smiles at the end when the judges ruled overwhelmingly in favour of Usman with Masvidal, who was without his coach Mike Brown who had also tested positive for COVID-19, applauding his opponent.

Usman’s 12-0 UFC welterweight record is equalled only by future Hall of Famer Georges St-Pierre (26-2).

The headline fight and the two other title fights delivered on the hype that had been built around the “Fight Island” showpiece.

Australian featherweight world champion Alexander Volkanovski (22-1) edged the tightest of split decisions 48-47, 47-48, 48-47 in a thrilling rematch against former champion from Hawaii, Max Holloway (21-6).

Brazil’s former three-time world champion Jose Aldo (28-7) was stopped in the fifth by relentless Russian Petr Yan (15-1) who claimed the vacant bantamweight crown.

The 27-year-old Yan rained in blows on his 33-year-old opponent for three minutes before the referee stepped in to save the veteran.

“Aldo is a legend. I have only respect for him,” said Yan. “It was a good knockout. I liked it.”

Before those title fights came a brutal women’s strawweight rematch between America’s Rose Namajunas (10-4) and the Brazilian Jessica Andrade (20-8).

Andrade had stripped the title from Namajunas in May 2019 by pile-driving her to the canvas for a knockout.

This time the pair traded blows before the 28-year-old Namajunas, her face bloodied, edged a split decision 28-29, 29-28, 29-28.

The 38-year-old Namajunas will now likely get a world title shot against champion Zhang Weili (21-1) from China, who took the title from Andrade 11 months ago.

FAAN Security Apprehends Intruder At MMA

FAAN Constitutes Panel To Investigate Fire Incident

 

In the early hours of Friday the 27th December 2019, a young man of about 25yrs was sighted around the airfield of the Murtala Mohamed Airport by FAAN Aviation Security (AVSEC) personnel manning the Charlie One (C1) link/holding area.

In a swift response, the AVSEC personnel on static guard duties at the area rushed to stop his further movement towards a taxiing Air Peace aircraft numbered APK 7252 and with the registration number(CS-TQU) and a struggle ensued. All efforts to stop the intruder by the unarmed AVSEC personnel failed as the intruder continued to resist arrest.

READ ALSO: 15 Killed As Plane Crashes In Kazakhstan

While the struggle was ongoing, the AVSEC personnel called for reinforcement and alerted the pilot of CS-TQU of the intrusion, and to delay the aircraft to allow for a successful apprehension of the intruder.

The intruder was eventually apprehended by the AVSEC personnel with the support of the reinforcement and has been taken into custody for investigations.

The aircraft was also advised to return to base for necessary safety/ security inspections in line with standard procedure. Subsequently, The aircraft departed Lagos at 10:16, with 171 passengers, and 6 crew

The MD of FAAN in company with the Directors of Aviation Security services, and Airport operations, the Regional General Manager (SW) and the Airport Chief of Security (MMA) inspected the site of the incident and discussed with the Captain of the aircraft, who commended the action of the Aviation Security team. According to him, it was timely and professional in protecting the flight as he was not even aware of any intrusion until they alerted him.

Aviation Unions Shut Down Murtala Muhammed International Airport II

Murtala Muhammed International airport

 

Aviation unions on Wednesday shut down the Murtala Muhammed International Airport II (MMA2) in protest over the sack of their workers.

They alleged that the workers were sacked following their indication of interest to participate in union activities.

The protesting unions are the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) and the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE).

The protest has left passengers stranded as those about to catch early morning flights, and also airline officials with businesses in the terminal were denied access into the premises.

The protest also caused heavy vehicular traffic around the airport environment.

According to the management of the airport, the unions have defied court order restraining them from shutting down the airport.

The union executives, however, deny knowledge of any restraining order.

Aviation Minister Names Airport Concession As Next Big Thing

The Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, has identified the concession of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport and three others, as the next big project, after the successful rehabilitation work on the runway of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

Senator Sirika, disclosed this to Channels Television’s correspondent in Benue state, during the induction of mi-35m gunships by President Muhammadu Buhari, as the Ministry of Aviation partners the Nigerian Airforce on airport security, research and training programmes.

The minister urged Nigerians to trust the Federal Government in protecting their interest, as was the case with the Abuja Airport runway project. He also stressed that four airports;  that of Lagos, Abuja, Port-Harcourt and Kano, are not up for sale but concession.

READ: Passengers Applaud Timely Rehabilitation Of Abuja Airport

He said this days after domestic flights resumed operations at the Abuja Airport, following the re-opening of the runway to traffic.

Passengers aboard a domestic flight expressed delight at being able to fly directly into the capital city, and applauded the timely rehabilitation of the facility.

Ita Enang’s Orderly Accidentally Shoots Self

Ita EnangA gun belonging to the orderly of President Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang accidentally went off on Friday.

The incident, which occurred at the ticketing area of the general aviation terminal at the Murtala Muhammed Airport 1 in Lagos State, caused some apprehension among travelers.

The orderly was severely injured while one female passenger also sustained minor injuries.

Both of them were initially rushed to the FAAN clinic before they were transferred to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) to receive more treatment.

162 Nigerians Return From Libya

Libya162 Nigerians stranded in Libya have voluntarily returned to the country.

The returnees comprising 132 males, 27 females and 3 children arrived the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos on Thursday aboard an airbus A320 aircraft.

Two of the returnees, who were in critical condition were immediately taken to hospital for medical attention.

According to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the return was facilitated by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in collaboration with the Swiss government and the Nigerian Embassy in Libya.

Private Operators To Manage Lagos Airport, Three Others

Lagos AirportThe federal government has announced plans to concession four major airports as part of efforts to develop and secure the aviation sector and diversify the nation’s economy.

Addressing aviation industry players ‎in Abuja, the Minister of State for Aviation, Captain Hadi Sirika, announced that the airports in Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt will be managed by private sector operators.

He also announced plans by the federal government to establish aviation development bank and an aviation university to provide funding and quality technical manpower for the industry.

It was the first aviation stakeholders’ forum since the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari came on board.

The Minister reiterated the commitment of the federal government to fast track the development of the sector through public private partnership.

He used the occasion to announce the streamlining of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the creation of employment opportunities for Nigerian pilots.

Although the presentation of the Minister received an applause from the stakeholders, some of them expressed concerns about the activities of some agencies under the ministry.

Others appealed to the federal government to urgently address the challenges being faced in the industry.

The one day forum which attracted airline operators, pilots and captains of the aviation industry is aimed at strengthening the sector towards efficient service delivery.

Woman Docked For Allegedly Peddling 4.5Kg of Cocaine

cocaineThe National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on Monday arraigned a 38-year-old woman before a Federal High Court in Lagos for drug trafficking.

The accused, Alake Abdulrazaq, is standing trial on a one-count charge bordering on the offence. She, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The prosecutor, Mr Abu Ibrahim, told the court that the accused committed the offence on October 12.

He said that she was arrested at the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Ikeja, during the outward clearance of passengers on-board an Ethiopian Airline flight to India.

Ibrahim said that about 4. 5kg of Cocaine was recovered from the accused, which she concealed in a neat wrap.

The offence is said to have contravened the provisions of Section 11 (a) of the NDLEA Act, Cap N30 Laws of the Federation, 2004.

The offence of drug trafficking can attract as much as life imprisonment.

Justice Saliu Saidu, following an application for bail by defence counsel, Mrs Lilian Omotunde, granted the accused bail in the sum of N10 million with two sureties in like sum.

He adjourned the case to February 2, 2016, for trial.

President Jonathan Visits Lagos

jonathan-goodluck-Nigeria-PresidentPresident Goodluck Jonathan is in Lagos on a private visit.

He arrived at the presidential wing of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport around 5pm on Friday.

On hand to receive the President were the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, and the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, among other important personalities.

The President later left for the State House, Marina aboard a helicopter.

No official present would give reasons for his visit.

AIB Stepping Up Measures To Enhance Air Safety – Mukthar Usman

The Accident Investigation Bureau has said that it is stepping up measures in its bid to promote safety in the nation’s airspace.

One of these measures is creating a prevention roadmap by putting its new download laboratory to pro-active use by studying data from aircraft recorders.

This was made known by the commissioner of the bureau, Captain Mukhtar Usman, who added that several of its safety recommendations from past accident investigations have been implemented.

 

 

Aviation: Nigerian Passengers Will Soon Have Rights – Lawmaker

A Federal Lawmaker and Chairman House Committee on Treaties and Agreements, Dayo Bush-Alebiosu, has explained the importance of the proposed Passenger Rights Bill in protecting Nigerians who commune by flight.

He was a guest of Rubbin’ Minds on Channels Television, where he spoke on efforts in the National Assembly to review goings on in the aviation industry. Mr Bush reiterated the view that Nigeria is not doing it right as far as the sector is concerned and this led to the development of the Passengers’ Rights Bill.

Sharing few of his personal experiences, Mr Bush-Alebioshu said that there are too many cases of passengers being taken advantage of by airlines and airport authorities, and this “nonsense” needs to stop.

Bush, who claimed to have been delayed at the airport close to 6 hours, also cited situations whereby people pay for upper class tickets are they “bumped” into the economy class.

He explained that the Passengers’ Rights Bill is borne out of Nigeria being a signatory to the Montreal Convention. The Convention stated among other things, the rights that passengers would have, and luckily the treaty was domesticated in the 2006 Aviation Act.

However, the treaty is a guideline which has not been explicit enough to treat certain practical issues, and this led to the House coming up with the idea of developing clear laws to regulate the industry on issues like delayed flights, damaged luggage, emergency situations and many more.

He said that the bill was practically embraced by almost every member of the House of Representatives during its presentation. Having scaled through its first and second reading, it has been committed to the Committee on Aviation to conduct the public hearing which is expected to hold during the first quarter of 2014.

 

We Have Not Done Well

Speaking about the general state of the aviation industry and its controversial moments in 2013, Bush who noted that he was not out to witch-hunt anyone, said that the industry has not done well.

Although he acknowledged that there are indeed laudable renovations and constructions being done at the airports, he insisted that quality services are more important in developing the aviation sector.

For example, he complained that at the Muritala Mohammed Airport, MMA, Lagos, it still takes very long for arriving passengers to get their luggage after landing, with some spending as long as 2 hours waiting.

He went further by asking what the essence of renovating airports are, when on arrival in a Nigerian airport, the first thing travellers see are tankers branded in different company names parked all over the place.

 

Bilateral Air Service Agreement – BASA

The Chairman House Committee on Treaties and Agreements, also criticized the imbalance in the country’s treaties and BASA with other countries like the United Kingdom.

He berated current arrangements whereby the British Airways has the access to operate its international flights from about 3 or 4 Nigerian airports, with about 14 flights in and out of Lagos weekly, while the Nigerian carrier does not have such privileges in the UK.

Bush believes that this arrangement is killing the local aviation industry. He added that Nigeria’s Arik Airline which operates the Lagos to London route has been restricted by the British authorities to only land at the Heathrow Airport. The implication of this is that their own local airlines would make revenue off passengers whose final destinations within UK is not London.

He noted that before picking up any agreement, there should be a policy, and those policies must ensure three keys things. They must ensure that there is no infringement on Human Rights, they do not impact negatively on the environment and that sustainable development is guaranteed.

He berated the way Nigeria gets into agreements with countries with financial obligations being imposed on Nigerians yet the country is not taking them serious, adding that some of the BASA do not even have reciprocity.

He explained that the average Nigerian does not know the treaties that Nigeria is bound by. Meanwhile the laws guiding countries signing such treaties say that their citizens should know about them, with the office of the Attorney-General saddled with the responsibility of making the details available.

He asked: “Can you count how many Nigerian businesses that have gone to South Africa to succeed despite the successes they (South Africa) have enjoyed here?” It is so because Nigerians don’t even know their rights in order to take advantage of them.”

Mr Bush-Alebiosu, added that his committee has demanded a BASA audit on the floor of the House, and it was also supported by the entire House. The essence of this audit is to review all the BASA that Nigeria has signed, in a bid to review and demand that they become more beneficial to Nigeria and Nigerians.