Crowned 2009 New Zealand Heavyweight Boxing Champion in his first year of boxing, Israel Mobolaji Odunayo Oluwafemi Temitayo Owolabi Adesanya (who goes by the ring name of Israel, and sometimes as Izzy) went on to become one of the most highly decorated amateur boxers in the history of New Zealand. From Boxing Champ to MMA Master: The Story of Israel Mobolaji
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Israel Adesanya is a Nigerian-born New Zealand professional mixed martial artist, kickboxer, and former boxer with multiple championships in all three disciplines. Though Adesanya had only 10 amateur bouts, his rise through combat sports has been swift; he won his first major title in 2012 and his most recent one just two years later. Now with a record of 18 wins and 0 losses (14 by KO), Adesanya is considered one of the best mixed martial artists in the world. From Boxing Champ to MMA Master: The Story of Israel Mobolaji
Noted for his fast, aggressive fighting style and incredible accuracy (particularly in boxing), he has become one of New Zealand’s most respected mixed martial artists. Since 2012, Adesanya has won multiple titles in kickboxing and Muay Thai competitions. In 2017, he was awarded Fighter of the Year at both Full Contact Fighting Federation (New Zealand) and World Kickboxing Network (international). In 2018, Adesanya became a member of ONE Championship’s middleweight roster.
Adesanya was born in Lagos, Nigeria. His family moved to New Zealand when he was five years old, where he began wrestling and kickboxing. He started boxing as a teenager, but took up martial arts full-time when his mother died from skin cancer.
On 7 May 2014, Adesanya signed with GLORY Kickboxing. His GLORY debut took place on 11 June 2014 at GLORY 17, where he defeated Mikhail Kolobegov via TKO in round one. He then won a unanimous decision over Fabio Pinca at GLORY 21 on 30 September 2014.
5′ 11 in height with a reach of 70 inches (178 cm) which he used as a boxer and 72 inches (183 cm) as a Mixed Martial Artist and an unofficial record for most wins, is too big for bantamweight . With these sizes, Adesanya said he should have taken up heavyweight. But didn’t and decided on middleweight later.
Israel Adesanya is a Nigerian-born New Zealand professional mixed martial artist, kickboxer, and former boxer with multiple championships in all three disciplines. He is currently signed with UFC. Oluwafemi The Last Stylebender Temitayo Owolabi Adesanya was born on September 11, 1990. While growing up in Nigeria he began practicing boxing at age ten and amateur kickboxing at age 14.
. . . Africa Cup of Nations Championships (4 times) – Kickboxing Middleweight Championship – Muay Thai Heavyweight Championship Commonwealth Championships (2 times) – Amateur Welterweight Championship New Zealand Amateur-Amateur Boxing Championships – Middleweight Championship Under 21 All Stars Competition (2 times) – Heavyweight Champion of Champions UFC Fight Night 137: Whittaker vs. Adesanya, Melbourne, Australia 2018 – Knockout of the Night.
$3 million, US dollar. Date of birth: October 11, 1990. Place of birth: Surulere, Lagos State Nigeria. Age: 29 years old and single. Height : 1.77 m or 5 feet 9 inches tall.
Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Israel Mobolaji Adesanya began his sporting career as a boxer. He is one of five siblings and moved to New Zealand when he was 9 years old. It wasn’t until 2004 that he took up kickboxing; his amateur record shows an impressive 38 wins and only 1 loss. By 2009, he’d also become a professional boxer and defeated Nathan Jones in their World Professional Boxing Federation super middleweight title fight by unanimous decision.
Israel was born in Nigeria and moved to New Zealand with his family at a young age. With a natural interest in sports, he gravitated towards both boxing and kickboxing. He started training as a professional boxer at 13 years old, and quickly made an impact on the New Zealand scene, winning multiple national titles. He turned professional shortly after his 18th birthday, where he remained undefeated in his first six fights.
As a young teenager in Nigeria, Israel showed all signs of being a promising boxer. He won his first Golden Gloves title at age 13 and went on to win five more by 18, when he officially retired. I had achieved all I wanted as a boxer.
Mobolaji, a two-time champion in amateur boxing and two-time runner up in kickboxing and professional boxing, had some ups and downs early on his career. But once he made a conscious decision to focus on mixed martial arts, he was able put all his energy into winning. I’m very excited about my move from boxing to mixed martial arts, said Mobolaji before his first fight as an MMA fighter.
In his youth, Mobolaji Adesanya was a formidable boxer. He won a number of Nigerian national boxing championships. At 17, he made his professional debut by knocking out Miguel Miguelito Ortiz in one round. In 2007, Adesanya relocated to New Zealand and settled in Auckland, where he started training at One Kick Nick’s Gym. At 19 years old, he became NZPBA welterweight champion by defeating Dean Budd by unanimous decision in 2011.
After winning many championships as a boxer and kickboxer, Odunayo took a gamble on MMA when he left his native Nigeria to study abroad in New Zealand. This risky move proved immediately fruitful for Odunayo, who won his first five fights as an amateur. As a result, he was invited to train at Jackson-Wink MMA Academy in Albuquerque—the training home of UFC star Jon Jones—and he’s been there ever since.
Pursuing Other Dreams
After a successful career in boxing, Oluwafemi joined K1 Max and won both his fights by way of knockout. Since then, he has added two more wins to his mixed martial arts record and currently competes in One Fighting Championship’s Flyweight division. He is ranked #7 among active flyweights by Tapology.
Celebrating Life and Career
Born in Lagos, Nigeria, one of three children, Odunayo (known as Ibi) lived a rough childhood. His mother left when he was 5 and his father couldn’t care for him. Both his siblings were killed during an attempted kidnapping at age 7. Thankfully, Ibi was away from home visiting a friend that day. After losing both parents within two years—and nearly losing his own life in separate incidents—Ibi found an unlikely outlet for emotion: boxing.
How did you get into mixed martial arts? Was there a defining moment that made you decide it was time for a change? A. Not necessarily, but I knew I wanted to try something new and different. Q. What is your training schedule like? A. I train Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m., then again on Saturday from 8 a.m.-noon, with the occasional session on Sunday after church at noon-2 p.m.