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Israel Adesanya: Biography, Age, Wife, Career, Net Worth, Controversy, and More



Israel Adesanya is a Nigerian-New Zealand professional kickboxer who is also a mixed martial artist and ex-boxer.

Israel Adesanya’s full name

His full name is Israel Mobolaji Temitayo Odunayo Oluwafemi Owolabi Adesanya.


Israel Adesanya was born on July 22, 1989. He is currently 33 years old and will be 34-year-old by July 22, 2023.


Adesanya was born in Lagos, a southwestern state in Nigeria. Some reports claimed he traced his roots to Odogbolu in Ogun State.



His father’s name is Oluwafemi. He is an accountant, and his mother, Taiwo, is a nurse.


At the time of writing, Adesanya is not married, and there is presently no report of his children.


Adesanya attended Chrisland School, Opebi, and enrolled in its Taekwondo after-school club until his mother removed him due to an injury.

In 1999, he relocated to Ghana with his family for 10 months, but due to his parents wanting their children to receive a well-recognised higher education, he settled in Rotorua, New Zealand, at age 10 and attended Rotorua Boys’ High School.

Adesanya was not interested in sports during high school; instead he was interested in Japanese anime such as Death Note and the manga series Naruto.

Adesanya was bullied during his high school years and attributes the mistreatment he experienced to his decision to pursue martial arts later in life.

Following high school graduation, Adesanya enrolled in a Bachelor of Science in Computer Design at the Universal College of Learning in Whanganui.

At the age of 18, he started training in kickboxing, after being inspired by the Muay Thai film Ong-Bak.

Two years later Adesanya made the decision to cease his studies in pursuit of a career in kickboxing and went on to amass an amateur record of 32–0 before turning professional and fighting in China.


Before taking up fighting, Adesanya regularly competed in dance competitions across New Zealand.

Early beginnings

In May 2010, Adesanya won the first fight of his seven-fight winning streak, defeating Tim Atonio by unanimous decision.

He won his next six fights, fighting almost exclusively with Wu Lin Feng in China. His winning streak earned him a place in the 2014 Kunlun Fight 80 kg tournament, held during Kunlun Fight 2. He lost the semifinal bout against Simon Marcus by an extra round split decision.

Adesanya afterwards made his Glory debut at Glory 15, when he faced Filip Verlinden. Verlinden won the fight by unanimous decision.

The two of them fought a rematch at Glory of Heroes 3, two years after their first fight, with Adesanya winning a unanimous decision.

Adesanya participated in the King in the Ring Cruiserweights II tournament of the regional circuit in New Zealand.

In the quarterfinal, he beat Slava Alexeichik by unanimous decision, in the semifinal he beat Pati Afoa by knockout and won the tournament with a knockout of Jamie Eades. Six months later, he took part in the 2015 Cruiserweights III tournament.

He scored technical knockouts of Kim Loudon and Mark Timms in the quarterfinal and semifinal bouts respectively, before winning the tournament for the second time with a first-round knockout of Pati Afoa.

Moving up in weight, Adesanya participated in the 2015 The Heavyweights III, as well. He defeated Nase Foai by TKO in the quarterfinal and Dan Roberts by KO in the semifinal, before facing Jamie Eades in the finals. The two had previously met in the final of the 2014 Cruiserweight tournament. Adesanya won the tournament final by unanimous decision.

Glory Middleweight Championship

Adesanya won five of his next six fights, including victories over Yousri Belgaroui[35] and Bogdan Stoica.

His loss came at the hands of future GLORY Middleweight champion Alex Pereira, who won by unanimous decision.

Adesanya participated in the 2016 Glory Middleweight Contender Tournament. He defeated Robert Thomas by unanimous decision in the semifinals, and won the tournament with a split decision victory over Yousri Belgaroui.

He fought Jason Wilnis for the Glory Middleweight championship at Glory 37: Los Angeles. Wilnis won the fight by unanimous decision, although the result was considered controversial.

His last kickboxing fight, before transitioning to mixed martial arts, was a rematch with Alex Pereira at Glory of Heroes 7. Pereira won the fight by knockout, after dropping Adesanya with a short left hook in the third round.

Adesanya in April 2023 defeated Pereira to reclaim the 185lb middleweight title just five months after he lost it to Pereira, who has previously beaten him twice in kickboxing.

Net worth and source of wealth

There is no reputable source for the estimation of Israel Adesanya’s net worth. Meanwhile, according to some online reports, his net worth is between $4 million to $10 million.


In February 2020, Adesanya came under fire for comments made at the UFC 248 pre-fight press conference, where he said he would make opponent Yoel Romero “crumble like the Twin Towers”, referencing the September 11 attacks.

The following day, Adesanya made an apology on his Instagram page, saying “I was simply rambling and my brain worked faster than my mouth in a moment to choose the wrong euphemism. You speak on the mic enough times and you’re bound to miss the mark with some bars. I did on this one and for that I’m sorry. I’ll be more careful in future with my words.”

On 25 March 2021, New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Sport, Grant Robertson, spoke out against Adesanya’s “flippant comments” on his Instagram “Bro, I will fuckin’ rape you” aimed at fellow UFC middleweight fighter, Kevin Holland. Robertson commented “I’m sure Israel understands that, I believe he has deleted the tweet in question. It will be up to the UFC as to what they do. But I would certainly be making clear to him [Adesanya], and to anybody actually, that we have to take rape seriously. It’s not an issue that anyone should be making jokes or flippant comments about at all.”

On 16 November 2022, Adesanya was arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City for the possession of brass knuckles.


The information in this article was curated from online sources. NewsWireNGR or its editorial team cannot independently verify all details.

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