What is Israel Adesanya’s Net Worth?
Israel Adesanya is a New Zealand professional mixed martial artist and kickboxer who has a net worth of $4 million. Israel Adesanya has won multiple championship titles. As an MMA fighter, he competes in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, while as a kickboxer he is a former challenger for the Glory Middleweight Championship title. Adesanya is considered to be among the best strikers in MMA, and claimed the UFC Middleweight Championship title in 2019.
Israel Adesanya was born on July 22, 1989 in Lagos, Nigeria as the oldest of five children of accountant Oluwafemi and nurse Taiwo. Growing up, he went to Chrisland School, Opebi, where he participated in Taekwondo. In 1999, Adesanya moved with his family to Ghana, where they stayed for ten months. Following this, they moved to Rotorua, New Zealand. There, Adesanya went to Rotorua Boys’ High School. He went on to attend the Universal College of Learning in Whanganui, where he majored in computer design. Around this time, Adesanya decided to begin training in kickboxing; eventually, he chose to drop out of college to pursue his career in the sport.
Career Beginnings in Kickboxing
Adesanya began his kickboxing career with incredible success, racking up a 32-0 record before turning professional. He continued to perform exceptionally well as a professional, winning the first seven of his fights. In 2016, Adesanya took part in the Glory Middleweight Contender Tournament, where he beat Robert Thomas in the semifinals before winning the tournament in a split-decision victory over Yousri Belgaroui. He later faced off against Jason Wilnis for the Glory Middleweight Championship in Los Angeles, ultimately losing in a somewhat controversial unanimous decision. Adesanya had his final kickboxing fight, which resulted in a knockout loss, in a rematch against Alex Pereira at Glory of Heroes 7.
Mixed Martial Arts Career
In 2012, Adesanya made his professional MMA debut with a TKO victory over James Griffiths. After taking another TKO win over John Vake, Adesanya went on a two-year hiatus from MMA. He returned in 2015 to record another TKO, this time against Song Kenan. Primarily fighting on the Chinese and Oceanian circuits, Adesanya racked up an early 8-0 career record. Later, in 2018, he made his debut in the UFC against Rob Wilkinson at UFC 221. Adesanya ultimately won the match via technical knockout, and received his first Performance of the Night bonus. He next faced off against Marvin Vettori at UFC on Fox 29, winning the fight by a split decision. A few months later, Adesanya beat Brad Tavares by unanimous decision, and earned another Performance of the Night honor. More success came later in the year, with Adesanya beating Derek Brunson at UFC 230. Early in 2019, he beat Anderson Silva in the main event at UFC 234.
At UFC 236 in April of 2019, Adesanya was pitted against Kelvin Gastelum for the interim UFC Middleweight Championship. In the memorable, back-and-forth fight, Adesanya won via unanimous decision. Later in the year, he beat Robert Whittaker at UFC 243 to claim the UFC Middleweight Championship. Adesanya next went up against Yoel Romero at UFC 248 in March of 2020; winning by unanimous decision, it was the first successful defense of his title. He continued to defend his title at UFC 253, beating the previously undefeated Paulo Costa via technical knockout. Moving up weight classes in 2021, Adesanya faced Jan Błachowicz for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship; he ultimately lost in his first-ever MMA defeat. He bounced back at UFC 263, where he beat Marvin Vettori in a rematch for the Middleweight Championship. At UFC 271 in 2022, Adesanya defended his title yet again by winning his rematch against Robert Whittaker.
In late 2014, Adesanya launched his professional boxing career, and was given a wildcard to enter as a cruiserweight in the Super 8 Boxing Tournament in Auckland, New Zealand. In his fight, he had a controversial loss via unanimous decision to Australian champion Daniel Ammann. Adesanya reentered the Super 8 Tournament the following year, and won his first professional bout against Asher Derbyshire. He went on to beat Lance Bryant in the tournament’s second fight, before emerging victorious over Brian Minto in the final. Later in the year, at the Super 8 Boxing Tournament IV, Adesanya defended his cruiserweight title by defeating Zane Hopman in the semifinal and Lance Bryant in the final.
Personal Life and Endorsements
Beyond his professional fighting career, Adesanya is a fan of dancing, having competed in many dance competitions throughout New Zealand before he began kickboxing. He is also passionate about anime, with his nickname of the “Last Stylebender” being a reference to the anime-inspired cartoon series “Avatar: The Last Airbender.” Adesanya has said that he would like to establish an anime production company after his fighting career is over.
In 2020, Adesanya became the first MMA athlete to secure a sponsorship deal with Puma. He also served as an ambassador for Stake.com in early 2021.