Israel Adesanya Biography
Israel Adesanya, also known as “The Last Stylebender,” is a Nigerian-born mixed martial artist who currently competes in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
He was born on July 22, 1989, in Lagos, Nigeria, but moved to New Zealand when he was 13 years old.
Adesanya is known for his impressive striking skills, precision, and unorthodox fighting style.
He become one of the biggest stars in the UFC after a string of impressive victories and is currently the UFC middleweight champion.
In this article we delve into Biography of Israel Adesanya.
Israel Adesanya Biography
Name: Israel Adesanya
Nickname: “The Last Stylebender”
Nationality: Nigerian-New Zealander
Birthdate: July 22, 1989 Age: 33 years old
Birthplace: Lagos, Nigeria
Residence: Auckland, New Zealand
Height: 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight: 185 lb (84 kg)
Division: Middleweight, Light Heavyweight
Reach: 80 in (203 cm)
Trainer: Eugene Bareman
Team: City Kickboxing
MMA Record: 21-2-0
Net Worth: $10 Million (as of 2023)
Notable Accomplishments: UFC Middleweight Champion, Glory Middleweight Champion, 2019 World MMA Awards Fighter of the Year, 2019 New Zealand Sportsman of the Year
Israel Adesanya, the eldest of five kids, was born in Lagos, Nigeria on July 22, 1989.
His father, Oluwafemi, is an accountant, and his mother, Taiwo, is a nurse.
Adesanya attended Chrisland School, Opebi, where he joined the Taekwondo school club until his mother withdrew him due to a severe injury.
In 1999, he accompanied his family to Ghana for ten months.
At the age of 10, Adesanya relocated to Rotorua, New Zealand, where he attended Rotorua Boys’ High School.
Although he was not interested in sports, he loved Japanese anime, such as Naruto. Adesanya was a victim of bullying throughout high school, and he decided to pursue martial arts as a result.
Adesanya began kickboxing training at 18 after watching the Muay Thai film Ong-Bak.
He had an amateur kickboxing record of 32-0 before turning professional and fighting in China.
At the age of 21, he moved to Auckland, New Zealand, to train in MMA under Eugene Bareman at City Kickboxing, alongside other notable fighters such as Dan Hooker, Kai Kara-France, and Alexander Volkanovski.
Adesanya is multilingual, with fluency in Yoruba, Nigerian Pidgin, and English languages.
He has an impressive unbeaten record as a former Glory middleweight contender, King in the Ring and cruiserweight champion, as well as a heavyweight champ in kickboxing.
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In May 2010, Israel Adesanya began his seven-fight winning streak by defeating Tim Antonio.
He then went on to win his next six fights, including a bout against Wu Lin Feng.
Adesanya’s impressive winning streak earned him a spot in the 2014 Kunlun Fight 80 kg (176 lb.) tournament, held during Kunlun Fight 2.
Adesanya made it to the semifinals but lost to Simon Marcus in an extra-round split decision.
Adesanya later made his Glory debut at Glory 15, where he faced Filip Verlinden. Unfortunately, Verlinden won the bout by a unanimous decision.
The two fighters had a rematch at Glory of Heroes 3, and two years later, Adesanya emerged victorious with a majority decision.
King In The Ring Tournament
Israel Adesanya competed in the King in the Ring Cruiserweights II tournament, where he secured a unanimous decision victory over Slava Alexeichik in the quarterfinals.
In the semifinals, Adesanya delivered a knockout blow to Pati Afoa, earning him a spot in the final against Jamie Eades. Six months later, Adesanya competed in the 2015 Cruiserweights III tournament.
He secured knockout victories over Kim Loudon and Mark Timms in the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds, respectively, setting up a rematch with Pati Afoa in the final.
Adesanya won the tournament with a first-round knockout of Afoa.
Adesanya also competed in the 2015 The Heavyweights III tournament, where he defeated Nase Foai by TKO in the quarterfinals and Dan Roberts by KO in the semifinals.
He went on to win the tournament by defeating Jamie Eades in the final.
Glory Middleweight Contender Match
After winning five of his next six fights, including victories over Yousri Belgaroui and Bogdan Stoica, Israel Adesanya suffered a defeat to eventual GLORY Middleweight champion Alex Pereira.
In 2016, Adesanya competed in the GLORY Middleweight Contender Tournament, where he defeated Robert Thomas by unanimous decision in the semifinals and went on to secure a split decision victory over Yousri Belgaroui in the final.
At Glory 37 in Los Angeles, Adesanya faced Jason Wilnis for the GLORY Middleweight Championship but was controversially defeated by Wilnis.
Following his transition to mixed martial arts, Adesanya’s last kickboxing bout was a rescheduled match against Alex Pereira at Glory of Heroes 7.
Israel’s Professional Boxing Career: Super 8 Boxing Tournament Cruiserweight II and III
In November 2014, Israel began his professional boxing career against the two-time Australian champion Daniel Ammann.
He was given one of two wildcards to compete in the Super 8 Boxing Tournament, Cruiserweight II.
During the quarterfinals, Israel appeared to have outpointed Ammann, but he was defeated via collective judgment.
Israel participated in the other Cruiserweight series of the Super 8 Tournament in May 2015. The winner was awarded NZD 25,000 and a new car.
In his first fight, Israel won against his fellow New Zealander Asher Derbyshire. He then defeated Lance Bryant in his second fight and finally Brian Minto in the final.
Israel also competed in the 2015 Super 8 Cruiserweight Tournament, Cruiserweight III, and won his semifinal match against Zane Hopman.
He defended his cruiserweight crown with a majority victory against Lance Bryant in the final.
Mixed Martial arts
In 2012, Israel Adesanya made his professional debut in mixed martial arts and won by TKO against James Griffiths.
He continued his winning streak with another TKO victory against John Vake before taking a two-year break from the sport.
In August 2015, Adesanya returned to MMA and won his fight against Song Kenan by TKO.
Adesanya amassed an undefeated 8-0 record in the Oceanian and Chinese circuits.
He won the AFC Middleweight Championship at Australia Fighting Championship 20 with a first-round TKO over Melvin Guillard.
Additionally, he also claimed the Hex Fight Series Middleweight championship with a first-round KO against Stuart Dare.
Ultimate Fighting Champion
In December 2017, it was reported that Israel had reached an agreement with the UFC.
He made his debut alongside Rob Wilkinson at UFC 221 on February 11, 2018, winning the match in the second round by technical knockout.
On April 14, 2018, he won his next fight against Marvin Vettori at UFC on Fox 29 by split decision.
Israel also won his second Performance of the Night award on July 6, 2018, against Brad Tavares at The Ultimate Fighter 27 Finale.
On November 3, 2018, at UFC 230, Israel defeated Derek Brunson in round one via a specific knockout, earning his third consecutive Performance of the Night award.
Originally slated as the co-main event, Israel faced former UFC Middleweight champion Anderson Silva on February 10, 2019, at UFC 234. Both fighters received the Fight of the Night award for their efforts.
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UFC Middleweight Champion
At UFC 236 on April 13, 2019, Israel claimed victory against Kelvin Gastelum to become the interim UFC Middleweight Champion.
He then faced Robert Whittaker in a title unification fight at UFC 243 on October 6, 2019, and won the UFC Middleweight Championship with a knockout in the second round, earning his fourth Performance of the Night award.
Israel’s first title defense was against Yoel Romero at UFC 248 on March 7, 2020, but the fight was criticized for its lack of action. Despite this, Israel retained his title.
He then defended his title for the second time against Paulo Costa at UFC 253 on September 27, 2020, winning by professional knockout in the second round and receiving his fifth Performance of the Night award.
Moving up a weight class, Israel faced Jan Błachowicz for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship at UFC 259 on March 6, 2021.
However, he was unsuccessful in claiming the title. On November 12, 2022, at UFC 281, Israel suffered his first loss via technical knockout in the fifth round to Alex Pereira, ending his streak of five consecutive wins.
- Puma: In 2020, Adesanya signed a multi-year sponsorship deal with Puma. As part of the deal, he has released a line of signature apparel and footwear.
- Toyota: Adesanya is a brand ambassador for Toyota New Zealand. He has appeared in several advertisements for the company and has collaborated with them on various events.
- CBDMD: In 2021, Adesanya signed a sponsorship deal with CBDMD, a company that sells CBD-based products for pain relief and wellness.
- Engage: Adesanya has a partnership with Engage, a company that produces combat sports equipment and apparel. He has collaborated with them on several lines of signature gloves and shorts.
- NZ Muscle: Adesanya is a sponsored athlete for NZ Muscle, a New Zealand-based sports nutrition company.
- Halo: Adesanya has a sponsorship deal with Halo, a company that produces smart fitness products such as the Halo Sport headset.
- Dragon Energy: Adesanya has a partnership with Dragon Energy, an energy drink company.
- Manscaped: In 2021, Adesanya became a brand ambassador for Manscaped, a company that produces grooming products for men.
These are just a few of the endorsement deals that Adesanya has had.
He is a highly marketable athlete and has likely had other partnerships in the past or may have new deals in the future.
Adesanya is known for his unique fashion sense and has modeled for various fashion brands. He has also expressed an interest in acting and has appeared in a few movies and TV shows.
Adesanya is a fan of anime and has incorporated anime themes into his walkouts for fights. He is also a video game enthusiast and streams his gameplay on Twitch.
Here are some notable quotes from Israel Adesanya:
- “I don’t want to be remembered as just a fighter. I want to be remembered as an artist.”
- “I don’t shy away from pressure, I apply it.”
- “I’m not here to take part, I’m here to take over.”
- “Pressure is a privilege.”
- “I don’t make excuses. I make adjustments.”
- “I’m not the next Conor McGregor, I’m the first Israel Adesanya.”
- “It’s not about being fearless, it’s about conquering that fear.”
- “I don’t care if they boo me or if they cheer me, as long as they feel something.”
- “I’m not trying to be different, I just am.”
- “The world needs more nerds and geeks and people that are creative.”
- “I’m the champion, but I’m not the best version of me yet. There’s still so much more to come.”
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Israel Adesanya’s net worth as of September 2021 was around $10 million . However, his net worth may have changed due to his continued success in the UFC, endorsement deals, and business ventures.
Social Media Handles
Israel Adesanya is active on social media and has verified accounts on several platforms. Here are his official handles:
- Twitter: @stylebender
- Instagram: @stylebender
- Facebook: @thelaststylebender
Adesanya often posts updates on his training, fights, and personal life on his social media accounts.
He also uses his platform to promote causes he cares about, such as racial equality and mental health awareness.