UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya made a global impact with his iconic celebration that has now reached the NRL stars in Australia.
Adesanya’s recent victory over former middleweight champion Alex Pereira at UFC 287 included a memorable celebration that has caught the attention of athletes from other sports.
After knocking out Pereira and standing over his body, Adesanya fired three imaginary arrows at his rival.
He mimicked Pereira’s walk-out routine, in which he shoots an arrow in the direction of the Octagon before yelling at the camera. This celebration has become one of the most talked-about moments in UFC history.
One of the baddest KO celebrations I’ve seen. Adesanya gets it done pic.twitter.com/vTpxVmeTNc
— Ernie (@es3_09) April 9, 2023
Soon after, NRL star Phillip Sami of the Gold Coast Titans replicated the celebration after scoring against the St George Dragons. Sami must have witnessed Adesanya’s celebration a few hours prior. However, he was inspired to implement it himself.
During the match, Sami grounded the ball and then got to his feet. He then pointed an arrow at the ground, mimicking Adesanya.
The next week, Brian To’o also gave Adesanya’s celebration a try. Before the Penrith Panthers’ match against the Newcastle Knights, the squad performed a captains run. To’o then showed the crowd Adesanya’s cold celebration against Pereira.
The Panthers posted a clip of the celebration on their page. Fans took notice and commented on social media, mentioning how To’o resembled Adesanya.
One user commented: “Bizza always camera ready.”
Another user added on Instagram: “Bizza either hitting the Cupid or Adesanya celly.”
When it was time for the game, To’o made sure to score before stylishly celebrating in the corner.
The widespread adoption of Adesanya’s celebration by NRL stars is a testament to the admiration and popularity that the UFC middleweight champion enjoys. Within a short span of time, Adesanya’s cold celebration against Pereira has become iconic in the sports community.