Israel Adesanya | Srivideo
Born Name: Israel Oluwafemi Adesanya
Date of Birth: 22 July 1989
Place of Birth: Lagos, Nigeria
Nickname(s): The Last Stylebender
Residence: Auckland, New Zealand
Nationality: Nigerian, New Zealander
Height: 193 cm (6 ft 4 in)
Weight: 84 kg (185 lb; 13 st 3 lb)
Reach: 80 in (203 cm)
Style: Kickboxing, Boxing
Fighting out of: Auckland, New Zealand
Team: City Kickboxing
Trainer: Eugene Bareman
Rank: Blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under André Galvão
Israel Adesanya (born 22 July 1989) is a Nigerian-born New Zealand professional mixed martial artist. He has also competed in kickboxing and boxing. As a mixed martial artist, he is currently signed to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), where he is the UFC Middleweight Champion and has an undefeated record of 19 wins and no losses. In kickboxing, he is the former Glory middleweight contender winner and King in the Ring two-time cruiserweight and heavyweight champion. As of 24 May 2020, he is #4 in the UFC men's pound-for-pound rankings. Adesanya is often regarded as one of the best strikers in the world of mixed martial arts as well as one of the best in sport's history.
Israel Adesanya was born in Lagos, Nigeria to a family of five children. His father, Femi, is an accountant and his mother, Taiwo, is a nurse. Israel attended Chrisland School, Opebi, and enrolled in its Taekwondo after-school club until he was removed by his mother due to an injury. In early 2001, he relocated to Ghana with his family for 10 months, but due to his parents wanting their children to receive a well-recognised higher education, he settled in Rotorua, New Zealand at age 10 and attended Rotorua Boys' High School. Adesanya was not interested in sport during high school; instead he was interested in Japanese anime such as Death Note and Naruto. He was heavily bullied during his high school years and attributes the mistreatment he experienced to his decision to pursue martial arts later in life.
At the age of 18, Adesanya started training in kickboxing, after being inspired by the Muay Thai film Ong-Bak. He went on to amass an amateur kickboxing record of 32–0 before moving to and fighting in China. At the age of 21, Adesanya moved to Auckland, New Zealand, and began training under Eugene Bareman at City Kickboxing, with other established MMA fighters such as Dan Hooker, Kai Kara-France and Alexander Volkanovski.
Mixed martial arts career
Glory World Series
In March 2014, Adesanya became the first New Zealander to sign a deal with the Glory promotion company after he spent the past previous six months in China fighting full-time. He lost a unanimous points decision in his debut fight to Belgian Filip Verlinden at Glory 15 in Istanbul, Turkey. It was only his second loss of the then 24-year-old's career.
King in the Ring
After picking up his thirty-third career win over Charles August, Adesanya announced he would compete in the King in the Ring last-man-standing tournament in Auckland, New Zealand. Adesanya was scheduled to enter in the cruiserweight division at ASB Stadium the following week. He won the event with wins over fellow countrymen Slava Alexeichik, Pati Afoa and Jamie Eades.
Adesanya made his professional debut in 2012. Fighting in Hong Kong, Australia and China over the next five-and-a-half years, he amassed a record of 11–0, with all wins coming via KO/TKO, prior to being signed by the UFC.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
In December 2017, it was announced that Adesanya had signed with the UFC. He made his debut against Rob Wilkinson on 11 February 2018, at UFC 221. He won the fight via TKO in the second round. This win earned him the Performance of the Night bonus.
Adesanya's next fight was scheduled on 14 April 2018, against Marvin Vettori at UFC on Fox 29. He won the fight via split decision.
Adesanya faced Brad Tavares on 6 July 2018, at The Ultimate Fighter 27 Finale. Adesanya won the one-sided fight via unanimous decision. This win earned him his second Performance of the Night award.
Adesanya faced Derek Brunson on 3 November 2018, at UFC 230. He won the fight via technical knockout in round one. This win earned him the Performance of the Night award for a third time.
Adesanya faced Anderson Silva on 10 February 2019, at UFC 234. He won the fight via unanimous decision. This fight earned him the Fight of the Night award.
UFC Middleweight Championship
Adesanya faced Kelvin Gastelum for the interim UFC Middleweight Championship on 13 April 2019, at UFC 236. He won the fight via unanimous decision. This fight earned him the Fight of the Night award. The fight was widely regarded as the best fight of the year, earning the nomination from most of the MMA news outlets.
Adesanya faced Robert Whittaker in a title unification bout on 6 October 2019 at UFC 243. He won the fight via knockout in the second round to become the undisputed UFC middleweight champion. This win earned him his fourth Performance of the Night award.
Adesanya next faced Yoel Romero on 7 March 2020 UFC 248. He won the fight via unanimous decision and defended the UFC middleweight championship successfully for the first time. Many fans and pundits felt disappointed due to the low activity by both fighters which resulted in a largely uneventful fight in which neither fighter was able to deliver any significant offense.
Adesanya is scheduled to defend his title against Paulo Costa on September 27, 2020 at UFC 253.
Before taking up fighting, Adesanya regularly competed in dance competitions across New Zealand. He highlighted his passion for dance in a choreographed walkout at UFC 243.
Adesanya is a fan of anime and would like to start an anime production company after retiring from fighting. His nickname "The Last Stylebender" is a reference to Avatar: The Last Airbender, an anime-influenced cartoon series. Adesanya has the image of one of the show's main characters, Toph Beifong, tattooed on his forearm.
Adesanya has endorsed the 2020 New Zealand cannabis referendum.
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