Israel Adesanya, a Nigerian-New Zealand mixed martial artist and former kickboxer, is a unique fighter for a number of reasons. He is considered a tough, technical striker with a penchant for knockout roles, despite the fact that he has fought few fights in the highest fighting class, the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Adesanya currently fights in the middleweight division of the UFC and has already been compared to some of the best fighters in the octagon such as Anderson Silva and Jon Jones.
In addition, he rose to 6th place in the world middleweight division in kickboxing in October 2017 and 9th place in the official UFC middleweight rankings on July 26, 2018.
Who Is Israel Adesanya?
The mixed martial artist was born on July 22, 1989, in Lagos, Nigeria. His pedigree is traced back to the Yoruba tribe in Nigeria. His Nigerian-born parents, who named Israel Mobolaji Adesanya after his birth, would move with their family in 2011 to Rotorua and then to Whanganui in New Zealand, from where his martial arts career began. His middle name, Mobolaji, means born in wealth.
He attended the Chrisland School in Opebi, Ikeja, Lagos, and then the Bells Secondary School in Ota. Although he was not athletically inclined at the time, he loved dancing and was very good at it. Art also gave him certain popularity when he moved to New Zealand, but he never got any further than having fun. However, martial arts lessons began and a career in it began. He attributed to the MMA that it helped him stay focused, cool, and calm and that it took him around the world – for free.
6 Facts About The Mixed Martial Artist
1. His Career Trajectory
When he was still a boy, Adesanya trained in Taekwondo for a short time. During this time, her household items were at risk because they had to face the wrath of his fist and feet during the training. Although his mother had nothing against the broken objects, she could not have had it when her beloved son broke his arm. After the incident, she took him out of training.
Seven years after the family settled in New Zealand, Israel returned to training; this time it was not taekwondo but kickboxing. His new interest was sparked by the Muay Thai movie Ong Bak, which he watched when he was 18 years old. He continued with stand-up martial arts and set a professional record of 32:0. During this time he also had the most titles in the history of the King in the Ring with 3 titles and was the Glory 34: Denver – Champion of the middleweight competition.
He made his professional debut in 2012 and for the next five and a half years of his career, he fought in New Zealand, Australia, and China and set a record of 11-0, with all victories achieved by TKO stop and within the second round.
Then came the time for him to enter the higher ground and explore deeper waters. Israel Adesanya signed a contract with the UFC in December 2017. He became the fifth New Zealander currently in the UFC alongside Mark Hunt, Dan Hooker, Luke Jumeau, and Shane Young. After signing the contract, he made his octagonal debut on February 11, 2018, against Australian middleweight Rob Wilkinson in the UFC 221 and scored the win over TKO in the second round. This win also earned him the Performance of the Night bonus and paved the way for his winning streak.
He next met Marvin Vettori on April 14, 2018, and won the fight by a split decision. Then came the biggest event of his career to date, a clash with Brad Tavares in the final of The Ultimate Fighter 27 on July 6, 2018.
Although he is a highly decorated kickboxer, many feared that he would have a hard time as he is somewhat untried as a mixed martial artist. Nevertheless, he managed to allay all fears and won the victory by unanimous decision. With this, he also won the “Performance of the Night” award and established himself as the next UFC candidate. His victory also brought him into the top 10 and thus into 9th place in the official UFC middleweight ranking.
With a record of 14-0:0, he will meet Derek Brunson in the UFC 230 on November 3, 2018.
2. The Kiwi Fighter Is True To His Moniker
Israel Adesanya has a cute pseudonym, The Last Stylebender, which he coined from the television show Avatar. He felt he could identify with the power of Avatar, who had control over the four elements fire, water, air, and earth. Like his superhero, even though he doesn’t know how the game works, he believes that he must master all the elements of martial arts to realize his destiny.
True to this principle, The Last Stylebender has remained undefeated through 14 MMA fights. He’s a great blend of precision punch and speed, shaped into a long frame, with the kind of footwork created by years of dancing.
3. He is In Touch With His African Roots
Although Israel Adesanya was transplanted from his root before his teenage debut, he has remained very connected to his Nigerian root and remains in contact with his homeland in every possible way. He has “Broken Native” tattooed on his chest, along with a large map of Africa on which he has drawn Nigeria. Body art serves as a reminder of his cultural heritage.
To further clarify his point of view, he addresses his fellow countrymen in his native language Yoruba at the press conference for the 25th anniversary of the UFC in Los Angeles after his groundbreaking career victory over Tavares. He did so not only to identify with other Nigerians but also to introduce them to his work and to introduce them to the game. The speech became a hit in Nigeria shortly afterward.
4. His Fighting Style Drew Him Comparisons to Former UFC Champions
After winning his debut match, the New Zealander was compared to former UFC champions Jon Jones and Anderson Silva for his punching power and height. Despite the high level of comparison, he does not try to replicate anyone, but to set his own pace.
In so far as they inspire him, Adesanya tries to be himself; the very first version of him.
5. Height, Weight, Body Measurements
Israel Adesanya has not fallen short of the expectations linked to its appearance. As befits martial arts, through years of hard training and discipline given to him, he has developed muscle cracks and maintained his body weight. He has a height of 6′ 4″ (193 cm) and weighs 185 lb (84 kg). He has a reach of 80 centimeters and a leg length of 44 centimeters.
6. Net Worth
We have seen how the Nigerian-New Zealander has stepped out of the dark into the limelight over the course of his career. If we have to add, he receives his membership dues, and in large amounts. Although his net worth has not been disclosed, it would be no less than six figures and would continue to grow.