Israel Adesanya has risen to become a renowned UFC champion, but his journey to success was not without challenges. One of his earliest bouts was not in the Octagon, but it was against racial bullying he experienced as a child in New Zealand.
Adesanya moved to New Zealand from Nigeria at the age of 11 and attended Rotura Boys’ High School. However, his transition to his new life was marred by bullying, with some of it being racial.
In particular, one child would repeatedly cycle by Adesanya’s family home and hurl racial slurs.
Adesanya told SunSport, ” I have to go back to when I was very young – primary school or boarding school.”
“.. I can remember clearly was some kid who kept riding by my house hurling racial slurs.”
Adesanya did not tolerate this anymore. The situation escalated when the bully confronted him face-to-face at school and continued to use racial slurs. Adesanya was already having a rough day and decided to take action.
He stated, “Then on the Monday, at school, he just came up to me and just did the same thing to my face. And I was having a bad day anyway, so I just whooped his a**e when I was crying.”
Growing up, Adesanya also had his fair share of fights with his younger brother David. Adesanya jokingly said: “… those were a** whippings.”
David then replied: “That’s a lie.”
Adesanya just reached the pinnacle of his career having managed to finally get one over on Alex Pereira.
‘I hope every one of you behind the screens can feel this level of happiness just one time in your life. ‘
‘But guess what: You will never feel this level of happiness if you don’t go for something.’
‘When they talk s*** about you, when they put a foot on your neck, and if you stay down, you will never get that result.’
He continued: ‘Fortify your mind, and feel this level of happiness once in your life, but I am blessed to be able to feel this s*** again and again and again and again.’
‘In his story I’m the antagonist. I’m the bad guy, but tonight it’s my story. The hunter has become the hunted.
‘Thank you for beating me, because beating me has made me a better fighter.’
Adam Miller is a talented writer with a passion for the UFC. As a UFC writer for Calfkicker, he’s found a way to combine his love for the sport with his gift for words. With a diploma in journalism and mass communication, Adam has a deep understanding of how to craft compelling content that resonates with readers.
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