After becoming the first UFC fighter in history to achieve four consecutive wins inside a first year with the company. Israel ‘The Last Stylebender’ Adesanya was recently dubbed as ‘The Future’ by UFC President Dana White. The former Kickboxing World Champion has picked up a Performance of The Night Bonus in three of his four fights to date. Let’s take a look back at one of the most impressive starts to a UFC career in some time.
Adesanya made his long awaited UFC debut in Perth, Australia against home town, late replacement opponent Rob Wilkinson on February 11th at UFC 221. Introducing himself to UFC fans in his usual style of cool, calm and collected. He dominated the fight, displaying impressive stand up skills and excellent footwork. Stylebender won the fight via Second Round TKO, after a deadly barrage of knees and punches.
Speaking to Jon Anik post fight, Israel addressed the rest of the Middleweight Division. Saying ‘I see you guys creeping on my Instagram. You watching me and I been watching you. But then when you run up on me you act like you don’t know me. BOY YOU KNOW WHO I AM NOW!’
Finding success in his first UFC outing, Adesanya was next scheduled to face the durable Italian prospect Marvin Vettori on April 14th at UFC on Fox 29 Gaethje vs. Poirier in Arizona, USA. A tough back and forth fight saw Stylebender emerge with a Split Decision victory after the fight was left to be concluded via the judges scorecards. Although he won this bout, Israel was not very complimentary of his own performance during the fight. And afterwards talked about elements he would like to improve and adjust in time for his next UFC fight.
Speaking to Jimmy Smith inside the octagon Stylebender said, ‘A win is a win, but I’m not happy with it.’
Israel would next go on to face Brad Tavares on July 6th in the fighting Capital of Las Vegas, Nevada. This bout would headline The Ultimate Fighter 27 Finale. Marking Adesanya’s first UFC Main Event slot in only his 3rd scheduled bout. Stylebender used his size and reach to his advantage during this fight, mixing up his offence beautifully with a variety of different attacks. He used a stunning step in elbow to slice a cut above Brad’s eye. And was able to walk away with a Unanimous Decision victory, after the fight was left to be concluded via the Judges Scorecards.
Speaking to Jimmy Smith post fight, Israel addressed the crowd with ‘Hey guys, this is my first main event in only my third UFC fight. I’m just getting warmed up. I’ve still got some tricks up my sleeve’.
Scheduled for his fourth UFC fight of the year, Adesanya would be matched up against dangerous brawler and wrestler, Derek Brunson. Some fans and critics believed this fight would prove to be one simply too soon for Adesanya’s budding career. Although he soon proved them wrong, displaying impressive take down defence early on in the fight. Israel would go on to claim an incredible first round TKO victory. Picking up yet another POTN Bonus, after knocking his opponent down multiple times before the eventual referee stoppage.
Speaking to Joe Rogan in the Post Fight Interview, Israel was once again a harsh critic of his own performance. He said, ‘That was about a B Minus I’d give myself. They said I have no wrestling, but this was a walk in the Garden. Madison Baby!’
ESPN’s Brett Okamoto recently revealed that Adesanya’s next opponent would be none other than the arguable GOAT and former UFC Middleweight Champion, Anderson ‘The Spider’ Silva. Scheduled to co-main event the card set for February 10th 2019 at UFC 234.