Nigerian-born New Zealand fighter Israel Adesanya is presently making headlines after knocking out legendary Anderson Silva in UFC 234’s main event in Melbourne on Saturday, February 9.
Despite being 43 and 14 years older than his challenger, Silva wasn’t good enough for Isreal Adesanya.
Adesanya is considered to be ‘a younger Silva’ and he didn’t disappoint on the night, showing that he is the one in his prime.
He was faster and landed the bigger shots as Silva tired out as the game wore on.
The judges scored 29-28, 30-27, 30-27 in favour of Adesanya at the Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena.
“This is crazy. This is like for a kid just to play, if I’m playing basketball, to play Michael Jordan this is it for me, I don’t do EA Sports this is for real,” Adesanya said.
There was a lot of mutual respect from both fighters after the fight.
“You the man,” Silva told Adesanya who responded saying; “You the man, you’ve been doing this for a long time. UFC 90, I still remember the DVD bro. I’ve been watching you for a long time.”
Just so you know, Adesanya was born in Lagos but moved to New Zealand with his parents. Although he left Nigeria at the age of 11, the now 28-year-old is very much in touch with his Nigerian roots.
He has ‘Broken Native’ tattooed across his chest coupled with a large map of Africa which serve as a reminder of his cultural heritage.
“I’ve got Africa stamped on my chest, and I’ve outlined Nigeria because that’s my bloodline,” he said in 2018.