Israel Adesanya's teammate 'Blood Diamond' recently acquired a UFC contract with City Kickboxing coach Eugene Bareman giving out the honors.
City Kickboxing has exploded in the UFC. Leading the charge is Israel Adesanya, who has taken his team to new heights with his flashy style and superb counter-striking technique. With rising fighters like Kai Kara-France also making their name in the UFC, it's clear the New Zealand-based gym is hard at work at becoming one of the greatest teams in the sport.
Coach Eugene Bareman and Israel Adesanya recently shared a video on Adesanya's YouTube channel. While Bareman seldom shows intense emotion, it proved to be an especially proud moment considering the long road that 'Blood Diamond' has taken.
"This guy came to the gym many many years ago, gave up his life to be here. I remember some times in this guy's history when he was at the lowest of the low. Although I'm not a person that does this a lot, this is a very special moment for me. Blood Diamond welcome to the UFC."
Below you can find the full video from Israel Adesanya's YouTube channel:
After the contract was issued, coach Bareman was adamant that no one deserved it as much as 'Blood Diamond.' The renowned coach even mentioned that 'Blood Diamond' was forced to sleep under the cage sometimes during his struggles as a growing fighter.
"No one deserves it more than that man there. There were over 100 fights, fought all over the world. One loss, and went through many many struggles in his life and he's a guy who used to live under the cage. We used to have a cage in our ring. He lived under the cage for a year, on the grind, struggling, trying to make a living. I've personally seen firsthand all of the struggles he's been through. Nothing made me happier than that moment there, and that's Diamond's entry into the UFC."
Is Israel Adesanya's training partner UFC Ready?
Blood Diamond -- real name Mike Mathetha -- is currently 3-0 as a professional. Despite lacking in the experience department, it's clear the fighters he is working with are having a major impact on his development as an MMA athlete.
With huge shoes to fill as a City Kickboxing athlete, Blood Diamond won his last fight in February 2020. While the New Zealand native struggled to get the finish, the fight saw him dominate the scorecards until the final bell sounded.
'Blood Diamond' picked up his third win in-a-row after earning a decision victory against Dimps Gillies at Eternal MMA 50. Mathetha might be Israel Adesanya's teammate, however, it remains to be seen if his lack of experience will hinder his eventual foray into the UFC.