Israel Adesanya: Tale of The Tape!
Weight Class: Middleweight
Nickname: The Last Style Bender
Fighting out of New Zealand
Israel “The Last Stylebender” Adesanya: Background
Israel Adesanya was born in Lagos, Nigeria, where he started to train taekwondo as a child. His family briefly moved to Ghana before migrating to Rotorua, New Zealand in 2001. They later moved to Whanganui. Growing up, Israel Adesanya wanted to be a dancer, but watching the film Ong-Bak he was inspired and started to train Muay Thai under Derek Broughton. He started fighting in 2008, however in 2010, he moved to Auckland and started a professional kickboxing career under Eugene Bateman at the local gym, City Kickboxing. The nickname “The Last Stylebender” came from Adesanya’s passion for anime, watching Avatar: The Last Airbender.
Kickboxing and Boxing career:
In Adesanya’s incredible kickboxing career, he combined a professional record of 50 wins, 5 losses, and 2 draws. 24 of his 50 wins came via knockout and only lost once via knockout, to Glory Kickboxing middleweight champion Alex Pereira at Glory of Heroes 7. He ran through the regional scene, winning his first 32 kickboxing bouts. He moved to China and fought in Kunlun Fight 2, losing a split decision to Simon Marcus in 2014. Shortly after moving back to New Zealand, he signed with Glory Kickboxing.
In Adesanya’s short boxing career, he managed to sustain a (5-1) record. He lost his debut to Daniel Ammann by unanimous decision. He won all of his other bouts, winning the Super 8 III heavyweight tournament and the cruiserweight tournament, collecting two titles on the local scene.
Mixed Martial Arts career:
In Adesanya’s Mixed Martial Arts career, he is a brilliant record of (12-0) every single win coming via knockout. He dominated the regional scene in China, New Zealand and Australia defeating UFC veteran Melvin “The Young Assassin” Guillard (32-19-2, 3NC) via first-round technical knockout to win the Australian FC 20 middleweight championship, and defeating Stu “Tumbleweed” Dare (8-5) via first round headkick knockout to gain the Hex Series middleweight championship. In December 2017, Adesanya received the long-awaited call from the UFC, and with 4 opponents rejecting the fight, Rob “Razor” Wilkinson (11-2) stepped up and took the fight nobody wanted, as they were booked to fight at UFC 221, where Adesanya stopped a gassed and bloodied Wilkinson via second-round technical knockout. Adesanya is now recognized in the UFC, and with excellent striking, great takedown defense and confidence on the microphone, Adesanya has what it takes to become a superstar, gaining a performance of the night bonus for his fantastic debut.
What is next for Israel Adesanya?
After gaining his first octagon victory in a stellar debut, I expect Adesanya to get pushed and promoted by the UFC, maybe becoming the next big thing in MMA.