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5 interesting facts about UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya

Israel Adesanya
Israel Adesanya
ANALYST

Israel Adesanya is one of the most exciting UFC fighters to watch. The middleweight champion made his UFC debut in 2018 and has become one of the most hyped athletes in the MMA promotion. 'The Last Stylebender' is now set to defend his title for the third time at UFC 263 against Marvin Vettori.

Adesanya is a favorite entering his next bout, which is going to be an exciting event given the contrasting styles and bad blood between himself and 'The Italian Dream'. With the ever-confident 'Izzy' coming in to "finish the job," let's see why he is one of the most fascinating fighters in the UFC.

In this article, we look at five interesting facts about UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya.


#5 Israel Adesanya was bullied in his childhood

Israel Adesanya with the UFC middleweight belt
Israel Adesanya with the UFC middleweight belt

It's interesting to see how many MMA legends grew up getting bullied, choosing to fight as a counter-measure. People like Georges St-Pierre and Bas Rutten - and even the brash and out-spoken UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya - were all bullied as kids.

After moving from Nigeria to New Zealand, Adesanya faced many instances of racial abuse and bullying. In an interview with the New Zealand Herald, 'Izzy' spoke about how he once cried so much after getting bullied that he looked into the mirror and gave himself a pep talk.

Speaking on The Rich Eisen Show, Adesanya explained how he got into MMA-

"I picked this (MMA) up just to learn how to defend myself because I used to get picked on a lot. So, over time.. I just learned I'm pretty good at this, pretty good at kicking ass so...here I am."

#4 - Israel Adesanya is a dancer

Israel Adesanya dances at a UFC event
Israel Adesanya dances at a UFC event

Israel Adesanya has had a great interest towards dancing since he was a kid. He is often seen breaking out dance moves during his walk-outs and celebrations. It also affects his footwork while fighting. 'The Last Stylebender' has attributed his ability to dance as a major factor in him moving so well inside the octagon.

Speaking about his dancing background, Adesanya told The Source-

"I think dancing and fighting have a lot of correlation with their timing, distance, creativity, and other attributes. So for me being a dancer, even with krump, its a very unorthodox style of dance that requires a lot of energy. When you’re a teenager dancing a hundred rounds a night, 20 rounds in a weekend, it builds your cardio base up. There’s a quote I read once that said, ‘never give a sword to a man who can’t dance’ and I can dance." Israel Adesanya said.

#3 - Israel Adesanya is an anime and manga fan

Israel Adesanya has tattoos of anime characters and Marvel superheroes
Israel Adesanya has tattoos of anime characters and Marvel superheroes

No fighter is complete without a mental game or an aspiration, so to say. Israel Adesanya's psychological game is truly unique as he is highly inspired by animated cartoons and games. Adesanya has spoken about how he sometimes views his life as a game where he is 'Player 1' and everyone else is a bot.

Israel Adesanya is also seen wearing clothes with his favorite anime characters like Death Note, Naruto and Avatar: The Last Airbender. The champ is specially influenced by the American anime show Avatar, which he rates as his all-time No.1, and from where he has taken his nickname, 'The Last Stylebender'. He also has tattoos on his body depicting the anime characters and Deadpool, among other things.


#2 - Israel Adesanya is an internet troll

Israel Adesanya
Israel Adesanya

Inside the octagon, Israel Adesanya is kicking ass and defeating his opponents. He was undefeated in his MMA career until very recently when he took on UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz. Prior to his UFC career (20-1), Adesanya had a lengthy kickboxing career in which he boasted an impressive 75-1 record.

However, when he is not dominating his rivals inside the cage, he is busy making memes on the internet and trolling with them. There have been loads of instances where 'Izzy' has trolled MMA fighters on Twitter through memes. His most recent victim was his UFC 263 opponent Marvin Vettori.

Prior to their bout at UFC 253, Paulo Costa insulted Israel Adesanya by giving him a white belt. After knocking out Costa at the event, 'Izzy' took to the internet to troll 'Borrachinha' and rub the Brazilian's defeat further in his face.

When middleweight fighter Derek Brunson called out Israel Adesanya for a fight in 2018, 'The Last Stylebender' proved to his fans that his troll game was on point. The champion hit back at Brunson with an edited version of the challenger's call-out video. In the post, he wrote-

"Derek sh*t stained balls Brunson... Your skid row, #bumfights style, drunken wrastlin', boot leg #chucknorris technique has no power here.. Fu*k he is so cringe when he tries to smack talk...just ssshhh. I got this!"

#1 - Israel Adesanya is a professional boxer

Israel Adesanya has a 6-1 record in his boxing career
Israel Adesanya has a 6-1 record in his boxing career

While fight fans know Israel Adesanya for his accomplished kickboxing career, after which he signed up with the UFC, very few are aware of the fact he also ventured into boxing as well.

While simultaneously competing in kickboxing and MMA, Adesanya tried his hand at professional boxing. He lost his boxing debut in 2014 but instantly rebounded, winning the following five bouts of his boxing career in 2015.

His most impressive boxing victory came against Brian Minto, who has experience facing world champions across the world. Speaking on the Joe Rogan Experience, Israel Adesanya said that if it was not for MMA, he would still be competing in boxing and going after local, national and then world champions.

"If I wanted to take the boxing blueprint, I could have done it. Because I'm 6-1 in boxing as well. So I could have done that and built up, fight some champions, local champions, national champions and eventually on the world stage. But for me, if you want to prove you're the best fighter, at the UFC, that's the highest level."

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Edited by Harvey Leonard
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