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Israel Adesanya career from boxing to MMA

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Israel Adesanya
Israel Adesanya career from boxing to MMA. Photo/ The US Sun.
  • Israel Adesanya is widely recognized as one of the best strikers in mixed martial arts. 
  • Israel Adesanya is a former professional boxer and kickboxer. 
  • The 33-year-old has won multiple championships in all three disciplines. 

Israel Adesanya has achieved success in his career as a mixed martial arts fighter at the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). 

Israel Adesanya, nicknamed The Last Stylebender, is undoubtedly one of the finest and most talented MMA fighters. As of August 23, 2022, he is number two in the UFC men’s pound-for-pound rankings.

Adesanya Israel 169

Israel Adesanya. Photo/ Sporting News.

The Last Stylebender is the current UFC Middleweight Champion. Known for his aggressive style of fighting, Adesanya makes his opponents get cold feet in the octagon ring. 

The New Zealand-Nigerian is on track to establish a reputation that will make him an MMA legend. And his antics will surely not fail him. 

Before joining UFC, Israel was a professional kickboxer and boxer. Israel Adesanya career in kickboxing and boxing have played a significant role in building his MMA record. 

Early Life 

Israel Adesanya was born in Lagos, Nigeria, on July 22, 1989. He is the firstborn in a family of five children. Adesanya’s father is an accountant, while his mother is a nurse. 

Young Israel was a student at Chrisland School, Opebi, where he enrolled in the Taekwondo club. He regularly went for training until his mother removed him from the club after he suffered an injury. 

Adesanya’s family relocated to Ghana in 1999 and spent ten months before moving to New Zealand, where they settled in Rotorua. He was at that time ten years old. 

Israel Adesanya attended Rotorua Boys’ High School, where he suffered bullying. After his high school graduation, Adesanya joined Universal College of Learning in Whanganui. He enrolled as a student of Bachelor of Science in Computer Design. 

The future MMA star began training in kickboxing after watching the film Ong-Bak. Two years later, he decided to quit his studies and pursue a career in Kickboxing

Kickboxing Career 

Before turning professional, Adesanya had an amateur record of 32-0 in kickboxing. He then moved to China after turning pro and made his debut against Tim Antonio, winning the fight unanimously. 

After recording an impressive winning streak, Adesanya competed at the 2014 Kunlun Fight 80kg tournament. He was eliminated in the semi-finals by Simon Marcus. 

Adesanya made his Glory 15 debut against Filip Verlinden, losing by a unanimous decision. He avenged his loss three months later when they met at Glory of Heroes 3. 

The Nigerian-New Zealand won the King in the Ring Cruiserweight II, 5 Cruiserweight III, The Heavyweights tournaments and The Glory Middleweight Championship.

Israel Adesanya

Israel Adesanya career in kickboxing. Photo/ SPORTbible.

Adesanya retired from kickboxing with a 75-5 record. 

Boxing Career 

Israel Adesanya career in boxing began in 2014 at the inaugural cruiserweight Super 8 Boxing Tournament. He lost his debut match, which was against Daniel Ammann. 

He re-entered the Super 8 tournament in May 2015, where he recorded his first pro boxing win against Asher Derbyshire. 

Adesanya defeated Lance Bryant in his second fight before emerging victorious against Brian Minto in the final by split decision. 

He fought in the 2015 Super 8 Cruiserweight tournament, where he defended his cruiserweight title after defeating Lance Bryant in the final. 

MMA Career 

Israel Adesanya made his MMA debut in 2012 against James Griffiths, winning the bout via TKO. He defeated John Vake in his second match before taking a two-year hiatus from mixed martial arts so as to do boxing. 

Adesanya returned to MMA in 2015 and went on to amass an 8-0 record while fighting in Chinese and Oceanian circuits. During that time, he won the AFC Middleweight Championship and the Hex Fight Series Middleweight Championship. 

The MMA star signed his first contract with UFC in December 2017 and made his debut in February 2018 against Rob Wilkinson. He won the fight via technical knockout in the second round and won the Performance of the Night award. 

Israel Adesanya won his second Performance of the Night award after defeating Brad Tavares in June. He went forth and put on a stellar performance at the interim UFC Middleweight Championship match against Kelvin Gastelum. 

He ended 20119 with a unification bout for the UFC Middleweight Championship against Robert Whittaker. He won the fight.

Israel Adesanya

Israel Adesanya career. Photo/ The US Sun.

Israel suffered his first mixed martial arts defeat on March 6, 2021, while fighting Jan Blachowicz. He is scheduled to face Alex Pereira at UFC 281 on November 12, 2022. The 33-year-old has an MMA record of 23-1 and has never been knocked down in the UFC. 

Abraham Odhiambo is an avid sports fan who loves to write about football, boxing and wrestling. He's a big supporter of Manchester United. He's pursuing a bachelor's degree in Communication and Media at Egerton University.

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