Hakeem Dawodu earned a split decision victory over Zubaira Tukhugov tonight in the main card opener at UFC 253.
With the Nigerian flag draped around his shoulders, Hakeem Dawodu delivered a speech where he explained the choice of his flag for the fight night.
“They only allowed me to bring one flag, so I’m really sorry for not bringing the Jamaican and Canadian flags but you know what I represent,” he said.
Hakeem Dawodu delivered an important message and then demanded an opponent who wouldn't run from him 💪 #UFC253 pic.twitter.com/2uZjkwyVzn
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) September 27, 2020
In a fight that opened the main card of UFC253, the 29-year-old defeated Russian fighter Zubaira Tukhugov via split decision in the Featherweight division.
The win, his fifth on a roll, continues his ascendancy in the UFC after the loss on his debut in March 2018.
Born in Canada to a Nigerian mum and a Jamaican dad, Mean Hakeem as he is widely called identifies with all of his roots. For the UFC253, it was his African roots.
“This was one of the first fights I felt I was fighting for somebody bigger than myself,” he said in his post-fight interview.
“All my black people, all my African people, everybody oppressed, they tried to make fun of us. They are trying to bring us down. I refuse to kneel.”
Hakeem Dawodu opens the main card of #UFC253 with a win for Nigeria. pic.twitter.com/QHBMXnnACy
— Colin NOT Collins (@ColinUdoh) September 27, 2020
His latest win in the UFC goes in line with Adesanya’s prediction that Nigerians will one day take over the MMA and UFC.