Earlier than capping off his speedy rise to superstardom by capturing the UFC middleweight title in 2019, Nigerian-born New Zealander Israel Adesanya was battling it out on the kickboxing circuit.
And whereas he is actually achieved quite a bit in his brief combined martial arts profession, it appears his kickboxing profession was equally as adorned.
The numerous fan-made YouTube spotlight reels with tens of millions of views are testomony to that.
When Adesanya lastly hung up the 12-ounce gloves and swapped them for some barely smaller MMA ones, he boasted a powerful 32-0 document as an beginner kickboxer and a 75-5 document as knowledgeable.
His kind contained in the ring noticed him topped King of the Ring champion 3 times – twice at cruiserweight and as soon as at heavyweight.
It additionally noticed him climb up the ranks on the highly-popular worldwide promotion Glory Kickboxing.
His kickboxing expertise goes some option to explaining why Adesanya’s transition into combined martial arts was so clean.
With elite-level placing like that, it was solely a matter of time earlier than he wiped the ground with a few of the largest names the UFC needed to provide – and that is precisely what he did.
The likes of Anderson Silva, Kelvin Gastelum, Robert Whittaker, Yoel Romero and Paulo Costa have all fallen by the hands (or some instances shins) of the ‘Final Type Bender’ on his path of destruction within the middleweight division.
His unblemished, undefeated document contained in the octagon has seen him earn one other shot at UFC gold – this time in opposition to newly-crowned gentle heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz at UFC 259.
It would not be the primary time the Kiwi has stepped up a weight class to struggle a far greater man – simply look again at his kickboxing days as a heavyweight.
And with each males being strikers, anticipate this struggle to remain standing.
So when you ever end up bored on a Friday afternoon with a giant weekend on the beers firmly in your sights, do your self a fast favour and easily sort into YouTube “Israel Adesanya Kickboxing Highlights”.
You will not be disillusioned.