UFC Champion Israel Adesanya reveals why he writes his opponent’s name in the air before a fight – and why he thinks it helps him win
- Israel Adesanya has a unique approach before entering the Octagon
- The Nigerian-born fighter has long been inspired by the Japanese anime Death Note
- The 31-year-old is undefeated in 19 fights after signing a UFC contract in 2017
Undefeated UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya has revealed the reason why he’s writing his opponent’s name in the air seconds before a fight.
Born in Nigeria and based in New Zealand, the 31-year-old is a huge fan of Japanese animation, especially the manga series Death Note.
The series is a popular fantasy show in which a student discovers a notebook that allows the holder to kill someone by writing the person’s name on the page.
UFC fighter Israel Adesanya (pictured right) with fellow New Zealander Rower Beth Ross has developed cult status in his brief career in the Octagon
Adesanya was clearly preoccupied with the work of the Japanese author Tsugumi Ohba.
He took on the famous ‘Anime’ persona in his UFC 243 fight against Australian Robert Whittaker last October.
The former professional boxer and kickboxer comfortably won that bout via knockout in the second round to become the undisputed UFC Middleweight Champion.
“You see me trying on something I’ve seen in cartoons or video games,” Adesanya told ESPN when questioned about his unique pre-fight routine.
‘I’m taking it out in the Octagon (this weekend) because, I don’t know, I can. “I blur the lines between reality and fantasy.”
Adesanya, who has yet to suffer a defeat in 19 fights, plans to give another clinic this weekend (Sunday, September 27) as he takes on unbeaten Brazilian Paulo Costa at UFC 253 in the United Arab Emirates.
New Zealand UFC athlete Israel Adesanya has yet to taste defeat in the Octagon
The Nigerian-born fighter will try to extend his record to 20-0 this Sunday in Abu Dhabi against Brazilian Paulo Costa