The Rise of “The Last Stylebender”: Exploring the Career of Israel Adesanya

Israel Adesanya, the Nigerian-born New Zealand phenomenon, has taken the MMA world by storm with his unique blend of striking, movement, and charisma. Nicknamed “The Last Stylebender”, Adesanya’s journey to the top of the middleweight division is as inspiring as it is remarkable.

Israel Adesanya


Israel Adesanya is a name that resonates in mixed martial arts. Let’s delve into his life and career.

Israel Adesanya’s journey into MMA is quite interesting. After being inspired by the Muay Thai film Ong-Bak, he started kickboxing training at 18.

During his time in kickboxing, Adesanya began to compete in MMA. He made his professional MMA debut in 2012.

Adesanya also has a 5-1 record in boxing. In MMA, he went 11-0 before making his UFC debut in 2018.

His first UFC match was against Rob Wilkinson at UFC 221 in Perth, Australia. Since then, he has had a successful career in the UFC, becoming a two-time UFC Middleweight Champion.

His journey from kickboxing to MMA shows his dedication and passion for martial arts.

From Kickboxing Rings to the Octagon:

Adesanya’s combat career began in kickboxing, where he amassed an impressive 77-5 record and even challenged for the Glory Middleweight Championship. His transition to MMA in 2016 proved seamless, as he quickly racked up wins and captured the attention of the UFC.

What is the UFC?

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is the world’s leading mixed martial arts organization. Over the past decade, with the help of state athletic commissions throughout the United States, UFC has grown into a globally recognized sport.

The UFC hosts events featuring 12 weight divisions and abides by the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts. It showcases the best fighters worldwide, including champions in each weight class. The UFC’s events are broadcast globally and have a large fan base.

The UFC provides a platform for martial artists to compete at the highest level and has played a significant role in the mainstream acceptance of mixed martial arts.

UFC Dominance and Champion Status:

Adesanya’s UFC debut in 2018 was a spectacular knockout victory, setting the stage for a dominant run. He defeated Kelvin Gastelum in 2019 to claim the interim middleweight championship before unifying the title against Robert Whittaker in 2020. Adesanya successfully defended his belt five times, establishing himself as one of UFC’s most skilled and exciting fighters.

Beyond the Octagon:

Adesanya is not just a fighting machine; he’s also a charismatic personality with a passionate fanbase. He’s known for his witty trash talk, flamboyant entrances, and love for anime and martial arts cinema. This unique blend of talent and personality has made him a global superstar, transcending the sport of MMA.

What’s Next for “The Last Stylebender”?

Adesanya recently lost his middleweight championship to Alex Pereira in November 2023. However, his fighting spirit remains undimmed. He’s vowed to return stronger and reclaim his title. With his dedication, talent, and captivating presence, there’s no doubt that “The Last Stylebender” will continue to entertain and inspire fight fans for years to come.

Early Life

Born on July 22, 1989, in Lagos, Nigeria, Adesanya moved to New Zealand at age 10. His interest in martial arts sparked after watching the Muay Thai film Ong-Bak.

Career Beginnings

Adesanya began his kickboxing training at 18. He amassed an impressive amateur record of 32-0 before turning professional.

Israel Adesanya

Rise to Fame

Adesanya’s professional career took off in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). He became a two-time UFC Middleweight Champion.

Recent Performances

As of November 2023, he ranks #1 in the UFC middleweight rankings. Despite a loss to Sean Strickland in September 2023, his record stands strong at 24-3-0.

His opponents

Israel Adesanya has faced several formidable opponents in his career. Here are some of them:

  • Sean Strickland: Adesanya faced Strickland in September 2023 and, unfortunately lost the match.
  • Alex Pereira: Adesanya had two matches with Pereira. He won the second match in April 2023 but lost the first one in November 2022.
  • Jared Cannonier: Adesanya won against Cannonier in July 2022.
  • Robert Whittaker: Adesanya has had two matches with Whittaker and won both of them.
  • Marvin Vettori: Adesanya faced Vettori twice and emerged victorious in both matches.
  • Jan Blachowicz: Adesanya lost to Blachowicz in March 2021.
  • Paulo Costa: Adesanya won against Costa in September 2020.
  • Yoel Romero: Adesanya defeated Romero in March 2020.

These matches have contributed to his current record of 24 wins and 3 losses. His journey continues as he takes on new challenges in the UFC.


Israel Adesanya, a formidable force in the UFC, continues to make waves. His journey from Lagos to the UFC is nothing short of inspiring.







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