The transcript below is from the video “10 Things You Didn’t Know About Israel Adesanya!” by Watch MMA.

Watch MMA:

“Israel has been a sensation within the UFC, rising quickly throughout the ranks of the middleweight division to establish himself as one of the sport’s biggest stars and finest pound-for-pound fighters. Though still relatively young in his MMA career, Adesanya has already achieved more than some of the game’s most revered athletes. And while his reign as champion of the UFC middleweight division is just one title defense deep, if he [inaudible] finest moments in this sport are yet to come. Here are 10 things you didn’t know about Israel Adesanya.”

Watch MMA:

#10. He Is A Huge Fan Of Anime

“Adesanya’s nickname, the last style bender, is a direct tribute to the popular cartoon, ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’, a cult phenomenon that stands as a personal favorite for the middleweight champion. Wearing his influences proudly, Israel has never been shy about his love for all things related to anime and gaming with him, even going as far as to explain one of his overall philosophies, where he describes himself as player one in this game he calls life. As a superstar for the modern age, Adesanya has never had an issue connecting with the sport’s younger fan base, as you would expect his career has been littered with references to popular culture.”

Israel Adesanya:

“I’ve been drilling these for a long time. These are not fake hand signs. These are for [inaudible], all the anime nerds, like you guys don’t understand. Like they keep saying oh that bulls**t, he’s just f**king doing stupid hand signs.”

Watch MMA:

#9. He Was Inspired To Kick Box By Martial Art Movies

“Adesanya, of course, was in the world’s top 10 kickboxers in his weight class before making the transition to the sport of mixed martial arts. However, what most might not know is that with the martial arts classic that inspired him to take up training in the first place. At 18 years old, ‘Style Bender’ caught a screening at the muay thai flick, ‘Ong-Bak’ starring Tony Jaa, something that gave him the idea of beginning down the path that would eventually lead him to UFC gold. After amassing a 32-0 record as an amateur, Adesanya would eventually turn pro, and the rest, as they say, was history.”

Watch MMA:

#8 – He Is One Of The Best Dancers In Dexterity

“And while, sure, he picked up a lot of this through the diligent efforts to master the art of kickboxing, his background in dancing, truly gave him the freedom to express himself through his movement. In his youth, Israel began dancing in order to make himself stand out. Something that would eventually leak into his stance with heavy emphasis on subtle feints. His love of dancing was never more prevalent than it was during UFC 243 walkout, just prior to his showdown with Robert Whittaker. Entering the arena with one of the most intricate displays of walkout choreography in UFC history, Adesanya managed to score a viral moment that only served to raise his status even more than before, in his eventual second round TKO of the champion that night.”

[Israel Adesanya dancing into the arena.]

Watch MMA:

#7 – He Lost His Final Kickboxing Bout

“Adesanya was indeed one of the finest kickboxers within his weight division during the peak of his time in the sport, but what most people don’t know is that he actually lost his final outing as a kickboxer before making the transition to Mixed Martial Arts. Facing fellow Top 10 Fighter, Alex Pereira, in a rematch of a fight he lost on the scoreboards, Israel’s night took a disastrous turn when he was KO’d with a beautiful left hook and what his final walk to the ring as a kickboxer. Thankfully, his success within the MMA has proven that the loss didn’t shake his confidence too much. And now after 19 straight victories, that brutal defeat no doubt seems like a distant memory.”

[Israel Adesanya versus Alex Pereira]

Watch MMA:

#6 – He Nearly Grew Up In The U.S.

“Born and initially raised in Lagos, Nigeria, Adesanya came from a relatively well-off background, the son of an accountant and a nurse. When he reached 10, his father decided to make a drastic move out of Nigeria, originally angling towards a new life in the United States, before the September 11, disaster of 2001, made him reconsider. Rotorua, New Zealand, was chosen instead and it was there that the teenage Adesanya would remain until adulthood. Israel moved to Auckland, the capital of New Zealand, to train full-time at City Kickboxing with Eugene Bareman.”

Watch MMA:

#5 – 19-0

“At 19-0, Adesanya holds the fourth longest unbeaten record in Mixed Martial Arts history today, in the UFC. Certainly a big ask, Israel’s record holds a special place within the landscape of modern Mixed Martial Arts. Whether or not he can maintain his flawless resume, remains to be seen.”

Watch MMA:

#4 – His Kickboxing Career

“Although, nearly everyone knows that Adesanya holds roots within the sport of kickboxing, it may come as a surprise to learn exactly how good he was during that time. His amateur record of 32-0, paved the way for his transition into the professional leagues, where he amassed a 75-5 record that saw him establish himself as a title contender under the glory banner, before his aforementioned loss to Alex Pereira, saw him leave the ring behind in pursuit of the octagon. Though he will likely never return to the squared circle, Adesanya leaves behind a kickboxing career worth being proud of.”

[One of Israel Adesanya’s matches.]

Watch MMA:

#3. His Quick Rise Through The UFC Ranks

“It’s easy to forget that Israel’s rise through the UFC’s 185-pound division happened at an astonishingly fast rate. Debuting in the UFC in February of 2018, Adesanya would fight five times in the 12 months that followed, earning himself a crack at the UFC middleweight title just 18 months into his run in the top flight. Sure his charisma and overall magnetism helped him to no end, but you really can’t understate just how active this relatively green fighter was as he attempted to make his mark on UFC’s most competitive division.”

Watch MMA:

#2. He Asked For His Bout With His Hero

“After establishing himself within the top 10 of the middleweight rankings, Adesanya approached UFC president Dana White with something of a master plan for himself. Calling on the promotion to grant him the opportunity to fight his idol, Anderson Silva, the UFC obliged him, setting up the three-round contest for a Melbourne main event at UFC-234. The fight as you would expect, lived up to its building as these two striking masters put on a fun display that contained everything from tributes, to old martial arts film, to gritty technical exchanges. Adesanya would take home the victory on the scoreboards of course, but all in all, there was a beautiful energy to that battle, one that Israel himself, no doubt, felt more than anyone else.”

[Israel Adesanya versus Anderson Silva]

Watch MMA:

#1. He Broke The UFC Attendance Record

“Adesanya’s UFC-243 clash with Robert Whittaker, for the UFC middleweight title, took place in the Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia, in front of a crowd of 57,000 people. As a battle between two of the biggest stars to ever emerge from the Australian, New Zealand region, it was no surprise that the people flocked to see them finally settle their differences. Besting the original UFC record, which was held by the UFC-193’s Rousey versus Holm, Adesanya stepped up to the plate on the biggest stage of all time, TKOing Whittaker in a dominant effort, that was wrapped up by the second round. A fitting title-winning performance for the biggest breakout stars of the decade.”

Israel Adesanya:

“Melbourne, Wagwan ma youths? What up [inaudible]?”

Watch MMA:

“Israel Adesanya continues to improve and make good on his promise of being the world’s greatest mixed martial artist. What do you think the future holds for the Last Style Bender?”

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