The world of UFC has been buzzing with controversy as Israel Adesanya finds himself at the center of a race-related debate.
Adesanya has been accused of contradicting himself by criticizing fellow UFC star Robert Whittaker for his Australian residency despite being born in New Zealand.
This controversy has opened up discussions about national identity and its significance in the sport.
The issue first arose when Dricus du Plessis claimed to be the first true African athlete in the UFC.
Du Plessis, who has French heritage, proudly asserted his African roots and stated his intention to become the champion representing Africa.
“I’m going to be the first authentic African champ, trained, born, and bred in Africa,” Du Plessis declared in an octagon interview.
This statement received mixed reactions, particularly from stars like Israel Adesanya and Kamaru Usman, who have proudly embraced their African heritage despite being born in Africa and residing in other countries.
Adesanya and Usman strongly opposed Du Plessis’ claims, with Adesanya taking the lead in addressing the matter.
Their response led to a heated confrontation between Adesanya and Du Plessis, culminating in a verbal exchange during UFC 290. Adesanya even challenged Du Plessis to a DNA test to support his assertion of African identity.
“I’ll tell you one thing. I don’t need a DNA test. I don’t need a 36 to know where I’m from. If I do a 26 and it shows I’m from Nigeria, then do a 26 and a DNA test, it’ll reveal where you’re from. I will show you where you’re from,” Adesanya stated emphatically.
However, an old interview resurfaced online, shedding light on Adesanya’s previous comments about Robert Whittaker.
“He is fully Australian. He, in a way, disowned New Zealand. I live in Auckland, and Auckland is my home. New Zealand is my home, whereas Australia is his home,” Adesanya previously stated.
This revelation has exposed a contradiction in Adesanya’s stance, inviting criticism from fans and observers.
Ezra Samuel is a passionate freelance writer with a particular love for covering MMA news. His interest in the sport dates back to his college days, and he has since established himself as a respected voice in the MMA community. Over the years, Ezra has contributed his writing to a variety of digital outlets, including the popular site calfkicker.