From smoking weed with Snoop Dogg to surfing with Kelly Slater: Inside the life of ‘anime nerd’ UFC star Israel Adesanya – and why he’s so eager to get in the ring with our best Aussie fighter
- UFC superstar Israel Adesanya says he plans to ‘f *** up’ Martin Vettori at UFC 263
- Nigerian-born Kiwi says he was bullied at school for being an “ anime geek. ”
- UFC Middleweight Champion plans to fight Australian Robert Whittaker in NZ
- The 31-year-old says he has ticked off a bucket list with Snoop Dogg when it comes to smoking weed
UFC superstar Israel Adesanya was no longer bullied at school for being an ‘anime nerd’, but is now smoking weed with Snoop Dogg and surfing with Kelly Slater.
The Nigerian-born Kiwi and UFC Middleweight Champion has become one of the biggest names in mixed martial arts because of his unique personality, which he says stems from his obsession with Japanese animation.
“I was just a geek who likes cartoons and anime, now I use it as a phrase to fuck grown men,” he told Daily Mail Australia.
He has his sights on Australia’s greatest fighter, Robert Whittaker, and revealed that the location for the Anzac super fight between the two champions will be in the famous Eden Park.
Adesanya will face Marvin Vettori at UFC 263 who he has defeated in the past, but says ‘there is no such fight’ and has a stern warning for the Italian.
“I’m just going to fuck him.”
UFC superstar Israel Adesanya has no longer been bullied at his school in New Zealand for being an ‘anime nerd’ but is now smoking weed with Snoop Dogg and surfing with Kelly Slater
Adesanya spends most of his time at home in Auckland – looking to fight Australian nemesis Robert Whittaker at Eden Park (pictured with Australian UFC star Alex Volkanovski)
Adesanya was born in Nigeria before moving to Auckland in New Zealand via Ghana when he was 10 years old.
He says he was often bullied at school for being a foreigner, so he preferred to stay at home to watch Japanese anime – something that shaped his fighting career.
‘It’s part of my character, part of my plot. I’m a geek who loves cards and anime and now I use it to express myself in combat, ” said the 31-year-old.
‘I like to let the lines between fantasy and reality merge and run seamlessly.’
The anime influences are evident in the UFC Middleweight Champion’s fighting style, with his unique grace and flair. He looks like a video game character.
‘If you look at my fights, even my last fight had a drunken fist in it. That was influenced by Jackie Chan. ‘
Smoking weed with Snoop Dogg at Staples Center is definitely up there. The bigger I get, I get used to it, but that was a weird bucket list item ‘
‘I caught two waves with Kelly that day. I haven’t had time to surf since then but I will definitely pick it up later in my life ‘
Adesanya says he still spends most of his time at home in Auckland ‘hanging out with his dogs and partying’.
The last time he fought in Australia was in 2019 against UFC legend Anderson Silva in a match that passed the torch in the middleweight division.
Before the match, there was a special moment when the two got on the ground to bow to each other, before performing consecutive spinning head kicks during the match that got the crowd to their feet.
‘That was kind of a movie. It was like when Kobe played Michael Jordan. It was the young man who came across the old legend, ‘he told Daily Mail Australia.
His superstar recently took him to a string of ‘bucket list’ places where he hung out with Snoop Dogg and even surfed with Kelly Slater.
Smoking weed with Snoop Dogg at Staples Center is definitely up there. The bigger I get, I get used to it, but that was a weird item on the bucket list.
‘I caught two waves with Kelly that day. I haven’t had time to surf since then, but I will definitely pick it up again later in life. ‘
Adesanya vs Vettori headlines UFC 263 on June 12 at the Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona starting at noon AEST.
Adesanya vs Vettori to headline UFC 263 on June 12 at Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona from 12pm AEST