Israel Adesanya: Who Is This UFC Rising Legend
"The Last Stylebender" Israel Adesanya is the current UFC Middleweight Champion. He is known for his unconventional and free-flowing style of fighting. Israel is currently undefeated in professional MMA.
Early Life and Career
Israel Adesanya (aka The Last Stylebender) is a Nigerian undefeated UFC fighter. He was born in Lagos, Nigeria to a well-off family. Lagos is a city where the wealthy and impoverished people live side by side; fortunately for Adesanya, he was a part of the wealthy group His mother was a nurse and his father was an entrepreneur.
At the age of 11, his family moved to New Zealand in hopes that Israel could receive an education that would be accepted in common western culture. Israel’s time in New Zealand was both a blessing and a curse. While in New Zealand, Israel often felt like an outsider as a black Nigerian in a mostly white New Zealand school.
This situation inspired the tattoo on his chest which reads “BROKEN NATIVE” as he felt like he was removed from his native land when he moved to New Zealand.
The blessing of New Zealand is that it has a deep history of martial arts which helped foster Adesanya’s love for the discipline.
When he was young, Israel was participating in taekwondo. However, after coming home and kicking everything in his house, as well as breaking his arm trying to do a backflip off the living room couch, his mom removed him from the sport.
At age 18, Israel took up kickboxing and quickly became a phenom. He has an impressive kickboxing record of 75-5-1 and won New Zealand’s national kickboxing tournament, King in the Ring, 3 times, which is the most in the tournament’s history.
Before beginning his mixed martial arts career, Israel also had a brief boxing career, ending with a record of 5-1. Had Israel not chosen MMA, he claims he would have been one of the best boxers in history. Currently, Adesanya is the undefeated UFC middleweight champion with a record of 18-0 and he is quickly becoming an MMA global superstar.
Inspired by Martial Arts film Ong-Bak, he started training in kickboxing at the age of 18.
Adesanya made his professional debut in 2012. Thereafter, he fought in Hong Kong, Australia and China over the next half a decade before he was finally signed by the UFC.
Adesanya signed with the UFC in December 2017. On his debut, he beat Rob Wilkinson via TKO in the second round at UFC 221 in February 2018. He also won the Performance of the night bonus for that fight. Thereafter he picked up victories over Marvin Vettori, Brad Tavares and Derek Brunson at UFC on Fox 29, UFC 230 and UFC 234 respectively.
In UFC 243, The Last Stylebender defeated Robert Whittaker to become UFC Middleweight Champion. There you have if folks!