NIGERIAN-born boxer Israel Adesanya knocked out Australia’s Robert Whittaker early this morning to become the undisputed middleweight boxing champion of the world in a development that has seen him become one of the fastest ever champions.
Adesanya, 30, was born in Lagos, where he attended Chrisland School, Opebi and enrolled in the school’s Taekwondo club for a brief time until he was removed by his mother due to an arm injury. Because his parents wanted him to get a well-recognized higher education, he moved to New Zealand at age 10 and attended Rotorua Boys’ High School.
At the age of 18, Adesanya started training in kickboxing after being inspired by the Muay Thai film Ong-Bak. He then went on to amass an amateur kickboxing record of 32-0 before moving to and fighting in China and at the age of 21, Adesanya moved to Auckland, New Zealand and began training under Eugene Bareman at City Kickboxing, with other established fighters such as Kai Kara-France and Dan Hooker.
Earlier today, Adesanya won the world title in the second round at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia. His victory capped his remarkable journey in the mixed martial arts as he needed less than two years and seven fights to clinch the middleweight title.
Adesanya said after the fight: “I eat it and I give it back two times. That’s a two-piece right there.”
With his parents sitting outside the Octagon, Adesanya’s domination of Whittaker, who was the UFC middleweight champion before the fight, was outstanding enough to earn him the victory which comes with $50,000 prize money. He has now extended his winning streak to 18 straight wins, having won the interim middleweight title in Atlanta in April in his sixth UFC fight.