For the first time in its history, the UFC has three reigning defending African champions, heavyweight – Francis Ngannou, middleweight – Israel Adesanya, and welterweight – Kamaru Usman. Adesanya and Usman are proud Nigerians, while Ngannou is a proud Cameroon native.
Having three African UFC champions makes the possibility of an event in Africa more plausible as fans are banging on the UFC’s door to support three of their own.
Footage from their homelands showcased pure pandemonium as the gentlemen went on to win their Championship belts. This footage had to entice the UFC to want to hold future events in Africa. Even though Africa is uncharted territory, finally holding an event there would result in an expansion to a new target audience for the promotion. Not to mention that Africa’s rich culture could result in new and exciting opportunities that MMA fans haven’t been exposed to before.
In April 2021, Dana told BBC Sport Africa that an event on the continent looks promising for 2022. He went on to say, “I’ve not done in yet, but now that we have three African champions, I really believe it’s going to happen.”
You would think the UFC would strike while the iron is hot as there aren’t any guarantees that the three of them will continue to be champions indefinitely. MMA is a sport of inches and any punch or submission could end their reign as champion.
Africa has stadiums spanning the continent ranging from 8,000-person capacity to 94,000. The UFC could promote an all-African fight card and blow the roof of the place. Can you imagine thousands of fans cheering on one of their own? High profile customers would pay top dollar and flock to the continent to be a part of history. Africa is so large that the possibilities are endless. If the UFC could figure out the logistics of throwing an event over there, it could result in a pretty magical outcome that not only gives the fans what they want, but expands the UFC’s brand voice.