Israel Adesanya biography: 13 things about UFC Middleweight Champion

full name: Israel Mobolaji Odunayo Oluwafemi Temitayo Owolabi Adesanya
fight name: The Last Stylebender
residence: Auckland, New Zealand
height: 6’4″
weight divisions: middleweight, light heavyweight
current promotion: UFC
pro MMA record: 24-2


Israel Adesanya is a Nigerian-Kiwi professional mixed martial artist and kickboxer nicknamed The Last Stylebender. He is 6’4″ tall and he competes in the middleweight division.

Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Adesanya is the eldest among the five children of Oluwafemi Adesanya, an accountant, and Taiwo Adesanya, a nurse. Israel attended Chrisland Nursery and Primary School Opebi in Lagos.

Israel is fluent in English, Nigerian Pidgin and Yoruba and he is a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Before becoming a kickboxer and an MMA fighter, he competed in dance competitions across New Zealand.


In 1999, Israel and his family moved to Ghana. They stayed there for 10 months before moving to Rotorua, New Zealand.

After graduating from Rotorua Boys’ High School in Rotorua, Israel entered the Universal College of Learning in Whanganui, Manawatū-Whanganui, New Zealand to pursue a bachelor’s degree in computer design.

In 2007, Israel started training in kickboxing. In 2010, he moved to Auckland, New Zealand, made his professional kickboxing debut and defeated six opponents namely Jerry Seagar, Ben Davis, Areta Gilbert, Ti’i Nanai, Eds Eramiha and Tim Atonio.

Currently, Israel is signed with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, which is based in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. Here are 13 more things about him:

  1. From 2011 to 2013, Israel competed in Wu Lin Feng where he defeated Guo Qiang twice, Xu Yi, Niu Xiaoqiang, Nurla Mulali and Qin Shan.
  2. On March 24, 2012, he made his professional MMA debut at “Supremacy Fighting Championship 9” in Auckland where he defeated James Griffiths via technical knockout via punches.
  3. On June 15, 2013, he defeated John Vake via technical knockout via punches at “Shuriken MMA: Best of the Best” in Auckland.
  4. In 2014, he lost to two kickboxing opponents namely Simon Marcus and Filip Verlinden and he defeated three kickboxing opponents namely Slava Alexeichik, Pati Afoa and Jamie Eades.
  5. In 2015, he defeated three MMA opponents namely Song Kenan, Maui Tuigamala and Gele Qing and seven kickboxing wins by defeating Afoa and Eades again, Kim Loudon twice, Mark Timms, Nase Foai and Dan Roberts.
  6. In 2016, he defeated four MMA opponents namely Vladimir Katykhin, Dibir Zagirov, Andrew Flores Smith and Murad Kuramagomedov and eight kickboxing wins by defeating Verlinden again, Yousri Belgaroui twice, Carl N’Diaye, Vitaly Kodin, Romain Falendry, Bogdan Stoica and Robert Thomas. On April 2, 2016, he lost to Alex Pereira via unanimous decision at “Glory of Heroes 1” in Shenzhen, China.
  7. In 2017, he defeated two MMA opponents namely Melvin Guillard and Stuart Dare but lost to two kickboxing opponents namely Pereira and Jason Wilnis, which downgraded his professional kickboxing record to 75 wins and 5 losses.
  8. In 2018, he joined the UFC and defeated four opponents in the promotion namely Rob Wilkinson, Marvin Vettori, Brad Tavares and Derek Brunson.
  9. On February 10, 2019, he defeated Anderson Silva via unanimous decision at “UFC 234” in Melbourne, Australia. On April 13, 2019, he became the interim UFC Middleweight Champion by defeating Kelvin Gastelum via unanimous decision at “UFC 236” in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. On October 6, 2019, he became the UFC Middleweight Champion by knocking out then champion Robert Whittaker via punches at “UFC 243” in Melbourne.
  10. He successfully defended the UFC Middleweight Championship title from Yoel Romero via unanimous decision at “UFC 248” in Paradise, Nevada on March 7, 2020 and from Paulo Costa via technical knockout via punches and elbows at “UFC 253” in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
  11. On March 6, 2021, he made his light heavyweight debut at “UFC 259” in Enterprise, Nevada where he lost via unanimous decision to UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jan Blachowicz. On June 12, 2021, he successfully defended the UFC Middleweight Championship belt from Vettori in their rematch at “UFC 263” in Glendale, Arizona, USA.
  12. He successfully defended the UFC Middleweight Championship title from Whittaker via unanimous decision in their rematch at “UFC 271” in Houston, Texas, USA on February 12, 2022 and from Jared Cannonier via unanimous decision at “UFC 276” in Paradise. On November 12, 2022, he was dethroned by Pereira via technical knockout via punches at “UFC 281” in New York City, New York, USA.
  13. He was 33 years old when he reclaimed the UFC Middleweight Championship belt on April 8, 2023 in Miami, Florida, USA where he knocked out Pereira via punches in their rematch at “UFC 287”, which improved his professional MMA record to 24 wins and 2 losses.

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