A handful of Nigeria-born fighters now feature in the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Israel Mobolaji Adesanya, Kamaru Usman and Sodiq Yusuff are some of the combatants.
On Sunday, a Nigerian name rang aloud as Israel Adesanya comfortably out-point Brazilian legend Anderson Silva in Melbourne, Australia.
Concise News presents to you 15 interesting facts about the 29-year-old:
(1) He was born in Lagos and is the eldest of five children.
(2) He has a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
(3) Undefeated: Presently, Adesanya has a Mixed Martial Arts record of 16 fights, 16 wins.
(4) He trained taekwondo for a brief time in his youth but was ejected by his mother after breaking his arm.
(5) He started training in kickboxing at age 18 (the same age he left Nigeria) after being inspired by the Muay Thai film Ong-Bak.
(6) His father’s name is Femi, a businessman and accountant, and his mother is named, Taiwo, a nurse.
(7) He lived in Ghana for about 10 months before settling down in New Zealand.
(8) Understands and speaks Yoruba.
(9) Like Anthony Joshua, he has the tattoo of Africa on his body. The words that appear on his body are ‘Broken Native’. It’s a name he coined way back when he was a kid. ‘Broken Native’ means the odd one out – the village idiot who maybe wasn’t as crazy as everyone thought; the one doing what everyone else wouldn’t dare.
(10) As a kid, he was either going to be a dancer or a fighter; though if it was dancing, perhaps as a choreographer.
He could always dance. Even now, he is getting back into dancing a little bit. According to him, he connects with his roots (Nigeria) through dance.
(11) Attended Chrisland School, Opebi, Ikeja, Lagos, and also at Bells Secondary School, Ota, Ogun state.
(12) Loves suya, eba, amala and efo riro, kilishi, garri and kulikuli.
(13) Got his nickname, ‘The Last Stylebender’ from the cartoon the Avatar. He felt he could relate to the power of the Avatar, who mastered the control of the four elements of fire, water, air and earth.
(14) He is a very cool person outside the octagon.
(15) He wasn’t an athletic person but had to build himself to become a Mixed Martial Arts champion that he is today. His parents actually wanted him to go to school (like the typical African parents) in order to secure a white-collar job. But today, they are fine with him.