Five Things You Might Not Know About Israel Adesanya

By Mark Raymundo Jul 2, 2018

One thing you’ll notice about Nigerian-born kickboxer Israel Adesanya is his confidence. “The Last Stylebender” has two impressive Ultimate Fighting Championship wins to back it up. Come July 6, he will step inside the Octagon for the third time. His opponent, Brad Tavares, is a surging veteran currently on a four-fight winning streak. For the Hawaii native, this is probably another day in the office. For Adesanya, it’s a step toward getting the recognition he feels he deserves. While his record speaks for itself (13-0, 12 KOs), Adesanya still has to make believers out of some. Let’s see how this plays out on the main card of “The Ultimate Fighter 27” Finale at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. For now, here are five things you might not know about Adesanya. 1. Aside from kickboxing and MMA, he also boxed. Adesanya is a striking sensation in every sense of the word. He ventured into mixed martial arts, kickboxing and boxing simultaneously. As a boxer, he was a cruiserweight who amassed a record of 5-1, with his lone defeat coming by way of decision in his debut. All his boxing matches were under the Super 8 banner in New Zealand. Combined with kickboxing and MMA, his record stands at an impressive 82-6-2. 2. Initially, he wanted to be a dancer. Dancing is something Adesanya has always been passionate about. So much so that he wanted to pursue it professionally. Unfortunately, his parents were against it. They wanted him to earn a degree and get a “noble” profession afterwards. For now, we may have to make do with his post-fight dance moves. 3. Like many other fighters, he was bullied as a kid. As a Nigerian coming to New Zealand for the first time, the young Adesanya was a magnet for school bullies. The new kid was used to getting picked on growing up, and his response was something you may not expect from a future MMA star. As if trying to lift up his spirit, Adesanya would talk to himself, reciting phrases every morning. Well, he says he still does it now so you can say the experience truly built his character for fighting. 4. He is a fashion model. When not training at City Kickboxing, Adesanya lends his style and talent to the world of modeling. Just recently, he was tapped by an eyewear brand as one of their endorsers. Adesanya appeared in the company’s campaign for their newest collection. 5. He is a blue belt in jiu-jitsu. It is no secret what Adesanya brings to the table. But with an all-time jiu-jitsu great like Andre Galvao looking after his ground game, it won’t take long before his skills begin to catch up with his striking.


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