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Semata beats Thailand’s Canison to make American dream

Ugandan kickboxer Umar ‘The Pain’ Semata beat Thailand’s Santon Canison in the Kunlun Combat League in China to edge closer to his dream of competing in USA.


Before the fight, Canison had fought 280 times, winning 50 of those with knockouts while Semata clearly paled in experience with his 45 wins in 78 wins.

“He is one of the strongest opponents I have ever met but I played for points,” Semata told showbiz online on phone last evening after he won 58-50 on points.

“I threw lots of punches and kicks and kept attacking throughout. It was the only way out,” the Muay Thai fighter, who beat local legend Moses Gala a fortnight ago in the Night of Champions, said.

“I will train for a month as I wait to see the schedule for the next fight here and what Mr. (Jack) Pemba is planning with the America fight. We needed to win one fight in China to make it to the City of Dreams (Last Vegas) and I have done that,” Semata said.

Semata only needed to win one of his four fights in this edition of the Kunlun Fight, a top Chinese promotion, to qualify for the $100,000 (Shs380m) K-1 Championship Title fight due April 2019 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, USA.

“Semata has again flown the Ugandan flag high. Las Vegas here we come,” Semata’s promoter and president of Pemba Sports Africa (PSA) Pemba, said.

Prior to the fight, Pemba had promised to support Semata to “make it to one of one of the biggest arenas that has hosted some of the biggest fighters like (Floyd) Mayweather and (Connor) McGregor in the past.”

After Semata’s triumph last night, Pemba said; “Ugandans once and for all should know Semata and Pemba Sports Africa, we are in our own league of changing life of the athletes of Uganda and Africa.
The sky is the limit for those athletes who believe in themselves and who believe in Pemba Sports Africa.”

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