Watch: UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya goes on a 'Naruto Run' in Auckland

Israel Adesanya
Israel Adesanya

UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya is back on the grind for his title defense at UFC 263. The eccentric Kiwi star worked on his cardio in one of his most bizarre workout routines to date.

During an outdoor training session, Israel Adesanya was seen performing the "Naruto run" on a beach in Auckland, New Zealand.

For context, the "Naruto run" refers to the unique running style of lead character Naruto Uzumaki in the Japanese manga and anime series Naruto. Israel Adesanya mimicked the character by sprinting with his arms stretched behind him.

Israel Adesanya's love for anime

Isreal Adesanya is a self-professed anime nerd. Even his cage name, 'The Last Stylebender,' is a play on Nickelodeon's hit show, Avatar: The Last Airbender.

The 185-pound champion has also referenced some of his favorite anime shows on many occasions. Israel Adesanya, for instance, pretended to write Robert Whittaker's name on a Death Note moments before their encounter at UFC 243.

"I just had to write his name because I knew he wasn't gonna last. And those who know the rules of the Death Note, they know, after your name's been written on the Death Note, the Shinigami will get you."

Eagle-eyed fans have also noticed that Israel Adesanya has some anime-inspired tattoos.

When will Israel Adesanya return to the UFC?

After an unsuccessful bid at becoming the latest champ-champ, Israel Adesanya will return to the middleweight division to defend his crown on June 10. 'The Last Stylebender' is on a mission to assert his dominance over the middleweight division. In a press conference, he said:

"I’ll remind them again why I’m the king of 185.”

Marvin Vettori emerged as a challenger for Adesanya's middleweight title after his dominant performance against Kevin Holland at UFC on ABC 2. The Italian earned a championship rematch against Adesanya after collecting five wins in a row.

The first time the champion and challenger crossed paths, Adesanya narrowly escaped with the victory in a close split decision. At UFC 263, though, the stakes are much higher as the UFC middleweight title will be up for grabs.

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Edited by Utathya Ghosh
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