Israel Adesanya

Israel Adesanya
Israel Adesanya at UFC 230.jpg
Israel Adesanya at UFC 234
BornIsrael Mobolaji Temitayo Odunayo Oluwafemi Owolabi Adesanya[1][2]
(1989-07-22) 22 July 1989 (age 31)
Lagos, Nigeria
Nickname(s)The Last Stylebender
ResidenceAuckland, New Zealand
NationalityNigerian
New Zealander
Height193 cm (6 ft 4 in)
Weight84 kg (185 lb; 13 st 3 lb)
DivisionMiddleweight
Reach80 in (203 cm)[3]
StyleKickboxing, Boxing
StanceOrthodox
Fighting out ofAuckland, New Zealand
TeamCity Kickboxing
TrainerEugene Bareman
RankBlue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under André Galvão[4]
Years active2009–present
Professional boxing record
Total6
Wins5
By knockout1
Losses1
By knockout0
Kickboxing record
Total80
Wins75
By knockout29
Losses5
By knockout1
Mixed martial arts record
Total20
Wins20
By knockout15
By decision5
Losses0
Other information
Boxing record from BoxRec
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Israel Mobolaji Temitayo Odunayo Oluwafemi Owolabi Adesanya[1] (born 22 July 1989) is a Nigerian-born New Zealand professional mixed martial artist.[5] He has also competed in kickboxing and boxing.[6] 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 20 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 29 September 2020, he is #3 in the UFC men's pound-for-pound rankings.[7] Adesanya is widely regarded as one of the best strikers in the world of mixed martial arts.[8][9][10][11][12]

Background

Adesanya was born in Lagos, Nigeria, the eldest of five children.[5] His father, Oluwafemi,[13] is an accountant and his mother, Taiwo, is a nurse.[14] Adesanya attended Chrisland School, Opebi, and enrolled in its Taekwondo after-school club until he was removed by his mother due to an injury.[5][15][16] In early 2001, he relocated to Ghana with his family for 10 months,[17] but due to his parents wanting their children to receive a well-recognised higher education,[18] he settled in Rotorua, New Zealand at age 10[19] and attended Rotorua Boys' High School.[20] Adesanya was not interested in sport during high school; instead he was interested in Japanese anime such as Death Note[21] and Naruto.[22] He was heavily bullied during his high school years[23] and attributes the mistreatment he experienced to his decision to pursue martial arts later in life.[24]

At the age of 18, Adesanya started training in kickboxing, after being inspired by the Muay Thai film Ong-Bak.[16] He went on to amass an amateur kickboxing record of 32–0 before moving to and fighting in China.[25][26] At the age of 21, Adesanya moved to Auckland, New Zealand, and began training MMA under Eugene Bareman at City Kickboxing, with fellow fighters Dan Hooker, Kai Kara-France and Alexander Volkanovski.[27][28][29]

Adesanya is multilingual. He is fluent in Yoruba, Nigerian Pidgin and English.[1]

Kickboxing 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.[30] He lost a unanimous points decision in his debut fight to Belgian Filip Verlinden at Glory 15 in Istanbul, Turkey.[31] It was only his second loss of the then 24-year-old's career.[31]

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.[32] Adesanya was scheduled to enter in the cruiserweight division at ASB Stadium the following week.[33] He won the event with wins over fellow countrymen Slava Alexeichik, Pati Afoa and Jamie Eades.

Mixed martial arts career

Early career

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.[34]

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.[35] He won the fight via TKO in the second round.[36] This win earned him the Performance of the Night bonus.[37]

Adesanya's next fight was scheduled on 14 April 2018, against Marvin Vettori at UFC on Fox 29.[38] He won the fight via split decision.[39]

Adesanya faced Brad Tavares on 6 July 2018, at The Ultimate Fighter 27 Finale.[40] Adesanya won the one-sided fight via unanimous decision.[41] This win earned him his second Performance of the Night award.[42]

Adesanya faced Derek Brunson on 3 November 2018, at UFC 230.[43] He won the fight via technical knockout in round one.[44] This win earned him the Performance of the Night award for a third time.[45]

Adesanya faced Anderson Silva on 10 February 2019, at UFC 234.[46] He won the fight via unanimous decision.[47] This fight earned him the Fight of the Night award.[48]

UFC Middleweight Championship

Adesanya faced Kelvin Gastelum for the interim UFC Middleweight Championship on 13 April 2019, at UFC 236.[49] He won the fight via unanimous decision.[50] This fight earned him the Fight of the Night award.[51] 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.[52] He won the fight via knockout in the second round to become the undisputed UFC middleweight champion.[53] This win earned him his fourth Performance of the Night award.[54]

Adesanya next faced Yoel Romero on 7 March 2020 UFC 248.[55] 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.[56][57]

In his next title defense, Adesanya faced Paulo Costa on September 27, 2020 at UFC 253.[58] He won the fight via technical knockout in the second round.[59] This win earned him his fifth Performance of the Night award.[60]

Personal life

Before taking up fighting, Adesanya regularly competed in dance competitions across New Zealand.[61] He highlighted his passion for dance in a choreographed walkout at UFC 243.[62][63]

Adesanya is a fan of anime and would like to start an anime production company after retiring from fighting.[64] His nickname "The Last Stylebender" is a reference to Avatar: The Last Airbender, an anime-influenced cartoon series.[65] Adesanya has the image of one of the show's main characters, Toph Beifong, tattooed on his forearm.[66]

Adesanya has endorsed the 2020 New Zealand cannabis referendum.[67]

Championships and accomplishments

Mixed martial arts

Mixed martial arts record

Professional record breakdown
20 matches 20 wins 0 losses
By knockout 15 0
By decision 5 0
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 20–0 Paulo Costa TKO (punches) UFC 253 27 September 2020 2 3:59 Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates Defended the UFC Middleweight Championship. Performance of the Night.
Win 19–0 Yoel Romero Decision (unanimous) UFC 248 7 March 2020 5 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Defended the UFC Middleweight Championship.
Win 18–0 Robert Whittaker KO (punches) UFC 243 6 October 2019 2 3:33 Melbourne, Australia Won and unified the UFC Middleweight Championship. Performance of the Night.
Win 17–0 Kelvin Gastelum Decision (unanimous) UFC 236 13 April 2019 5 5:00 Atlanta, Georgia, United States Won the interim UFC Middleweight Championship. Fight of the Night.
Win 16–0 Anderson Silva Decision (unanimous) UFC 234 10 February 2019 3 5:00 Melbourne, Australia Fight of the Night.
Win 15–0 Derek Brunson TKO (knees and punches) UFC 230 3 November 2018 1 4:51 New York City, New York, United States Performance of the Night.
Win 14–0 Brad Tavares Decision (unanimous) The Ultimate Fighter: Undefeated Finale 6 July 2018 5 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Performance of the Night.
Win 13–0 Marvin Vettori Decision (split) UFC on Fox: Poirier vs. Gaethje 14 April 2018 3 5:00 Glendale, Arizona, United States
Win 12–0 Rob Wilkinson TKO (knees and punches) UFC 221 11 February 2018 2 3:37 Perth, Australia Performance of the Night.
Win 11–0 Stuart Dare KO (head kick) Hex Fighting Series 12 24 November 2017 1 4:53 Melbourne, Australia Won the vacant Hex Fight Series Middleweight Championship.
Win 10–0 Melvin Guillard TKO (punches) Australia Fighting Championship 20 28 July 2017 1 4:49 Melbourne, Australia Won the AFC Middleweight Championship.
Win 9–0 Murad Kuramagomedov TKO (punches) Wu Lin Feng: E.P.I.C. 4 28 May 2016 2 1:05 Henan, China
Win 8–0 Andrew Flores Smith TKO (corner stoppage) Glory of Heroes 2 7 May 2016 1 5:00 Shenzhen, China
Win 7–0 Dibir Zagirov TKO (punches) Wu Lin Feng: E.P.I.C. 2 13 March 2016 2 2:23 Henan, China
Win 6–0 Vladimir Katykhin TKO (doctor stoppage) Wu Lin Feng: E.P.I.C. 1 13 January 2016 2 N/A Henan, China
Win 5–0 Gele Qing TKO (elbows) Wu Lin Feng 2015: New Zealand vs. China 19 September 2015 2 3:37 Auckland, New Zealand
Win 4–0 Maui Tuigamala TKO (body kick) Fair Pay Fighting 1 5 September 2015 2 1:25 Auckland, New Zealand
Win 3–0 Song Kenan TKO (head kick) The Legend of Emei 3 8 August 2015 1 1:59 Shahe, China
Win 2–0 John Vake TKO (punches) Shuriken MMA: Best of the Best 15 June 2013 1 4:43 Auckland, New Zealand
Win 1–0 James Griffiths TKO (punches) Supremacy Fighting Championship 9 24 March 2012 1 2:09 Auckland, New Zealand Middleweight debut.

[89]

Kickboxing record (incomplete)[edit]

Kickboxing record (incomplete)

Legend:   Win   Loss   Draw/No contest   Notes

Boxing career

Prize-fighting tournaments

Adesanya began his professional boxing career in November 2014 against two-time Australian champion Daniel Ammann.[95] He was granted one of two wildcards to enter the inaugural cruiserweight Super 8 Boxing Tournament.[96] The event was headlined by Shane Cameron and Kali Meehan at the North Shore Events Centre in Auckland, New Zealand.[97] He suffered a controversial loss via unanimous decision after he looked to have outpointed Ammann in the quarter-finals.[98]

Adesanya re-entered the Super 8 tournament in May 2015, held at Horncastle Arena in Christchurch. It was the second cruiserweight series with the winner receiving $25,000 NZD and a new car.[99] He won his first professional fight against fellow New Zealander Asher Derbyshire in the first seed. Adesanya knocked his opponent out in the second round.[citation needed]

Professional boxing record

Professional record summary
6 fights 5 wins 1 loss
By knockout 1 0
By decision 4 1
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
6 Win 5–1 New Zealand Zane Hopman UD 3 3 Nov 2015 New Zealand SkyCity, Auckland, New Zealand Super 8 Boxing Tournament: Cruiserweight III & Light-heavyweight – Final
5 Win 4–1 New Zealand Lance Bryant UD 3 3 Nov 2015 New Zealand SkyCity, Auckland, New Zealand Super 8 Boxing Tournament: Cruiserweight III & Light-heavyweight – Semi-final
4 Win 3–1 United States Brian Minto SD 3 28 Mar 2015 New Zealand Horncastle Arena, Christchurch, New Zealand Super 8 Boxing Tournament: Cruiserweight II – Final
3 Win 2–1 New Zealand Lance Bryant MD 3 28 Mar 2015 New Zealand Horncastle Arena, Christchurch, New Zealand Super 8 Boxing Tournament: Cruiserweight II – Semi-final
2 Win 1–1 New Zealand Asher Derbyshire KO 2 (3) 28 Mar 2015 New Zealand Horncastle Arena, Christchurch, New Zealand Super 8 Boxing Tournament: Cruiserweight II – Quarter-final
1 Loss 0–1 Australia Daniel Ammann UD 3 22 Nov 2014 New Zealand North Shore Events Centre, Auckland, New Zealand Super 8 Boxing Tournament: Cruiserweight I – Quarter-final

Pay-per-view bouts

Event Fight Date Venue City PPV buys
UFC 253 Adesanya vs. Costa 27 September 2020 Flash Forum Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates 700,000[100]

See also

References

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External links

Sporting positions
Mixed martial arts titles
Preceded by
Robert Whittaker
2nd UFC Middleweight Champion
10 October 2019 – Present
Incumbent
Kickboxing titles
Preceded by
TY Williams
2nd King in the Ring Cruiserweight Champion
30 August 2014 – 11 April 2015
Vacated
Vacant
Vacant 3rd King in the Ring Cruiserweight Champion
11 April 2015 – 17 November 2017
Vacated
Succeeded by
Slava Alexeichik
Preceded by
Antz Nansen
3rd King in the Ring Heavyweight Champion
31 October 2015 – 30 June 2017
Vacated
Succeeded by
Carlos Ulberg
Awards
Preceded by
Tom Walsh
New Zealand's Sportsman of the Year
2019
Incumbent

Information

Article Israel Adesanya in English Wikipedia took following places in local popularity ranking:

Presented content of the Wikipedia article was extracted in 2020-10-14 based on https://en.wikipedia.org/?curid=51774563