Israel Adesanya part anime, all real-life fighter. Having coined his nickname from the TV anime series The Avatar, featuring its lead character The Last Stylebender. Someone or something which in its essence, he could very much associate. The desire to master all the elements of the world in order to become an Avatar. Adesanya saw in him, the same traits he felt essential to achieve dominance in the realm of combat sports.
Having already achieved an Interim title, after just 21 months and only his sixth fight with the UFC. It’s quite simply, a dazzling achievement. In the process overcoming the middleweight great Anderson Silva, a fighter built very much from the same mould. Izzy’s rise through the ranks has been viewed by many as a passing of the torch, from one great to a potential other.
Although a veteran in combat sports, Israel only joined the ranks of the UFC back in February 2018. Initially dismissed publicly by many of his peers, the fighter hailing from Lagos Nigeria, via Auckland New Zealand has since gone on to silence all but a few of his critics.
Fighting Record to Date
While Adesanya may be a relatively fresh face in the UFC. He has been a busy man both in and out of the cage before ever becoming exposed to a global audience. With a professional career spanning 8 years, he kicked things off in China back in 2011. Where his 32 – 0 record as an amateur had gained the notice of the Chinese promoters.
Gaining a plethora of titles and awards across disciplines, from multiple King of the Ring titles at both cruiserweight and heavyweight. And more recently being lauded by the MMA media as breakout fighter of the year 2018. Is now the time the world gets to fully appreciate how special Adesanya is and where his career will go?
Facing Kelvin Gastelum
And it wasn’t his fight with Silva, but his interim title fight with Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 236. Which truly put him on the map as the biggest threat to the reign of The Reaper Robert Whittaker. In a fight which showed what Izzy has when all was not going his way. The table has now been set, the cutlery laid out in picture-perfect symmetry for a feast of action at UFC 243.
Adesanya Talks Tattoos with GQ just before Gastelum Fight.
The broken native of Nigerian descent has taken the mixed martial arts world by storm. And with that a growing fascination about the man behind the slick moves and even slicker tattoo’s. And they say that every tattoo tells a story or at least it should. So what do Israel’s tell us about the man himself?
Level Up Facing Jon Jones at Light Heavyweight
With a potential championship win at middleweight signed sealed delivered. Somewhere in his future, there could very well be a clash with on-off MMA superstar Jonny “Bones” Jones. With their most recent social media tit for tat exchanges. Adesanya might very well be setting yet another table for a megafight with Jones somewhere down the line.
.@stylebender Keep convincing yourself that one day you’ll be ready to face a boss like me. I’ll keep convincing myself that when that day comes, I will make you my absolute bitch.— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) October 2, 2019
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet. There can be little doubting that Israel Adesanya has what it takes to go all the way and beyond. To be forever immortalised, to someday be the guy that other people will carry with tattooed pride on their body. It’s all there for the taking and he knows that, in fact, he has probably already envisioned it all play out in his mind’s eye. At UFC 243, will it be realised?
Images courtesy of mmaindia.com, ufc.com & forbes.com