Why does Israel Adesanya Paint His Nails Before A Fight?

Having a “macho” mentality in the MMA community is not at all uncommon. From the fighters to fans and even the promotions, the sport was promoted around being as “manly as possible”.

So it’s kind of a surprise when you realize that many male fighters enter the cage with their nails properly polished and painted. Not that having painted nails makes them “less of a man”, it’s just not what you expected to see from the average MMA fighter.

One of the fighters that frequently has fans speculating about his sexuality is Israel Adesanya – and much of it is thanks to his style. Adesanya had everything from the pink hair to the picture perfect nails.

These are from the prep for the Whittaker match that happens this weekend.

Previously Adesanya showcased his pink hair last year. But ultimately changed his hair before the actual fight.

But while you may jump to conclusions concerning Adesanya’s preferences – you might not realize that a number of prominent fighters in the UFC have painted their nails.

Fighters like Israel Adesanya, Yoel Romero, Chris Leben, Ramsay Nijen, Jeff Monson, Chuck Lidda, Ian Mccall, and Andrei Arlovski all have fought with painted nails before.

However, in spite of what you might think – this isn’t really an attempt to be fashionable – there’s a reason why fighters paint their nails. The paint also works as a protective layer preventing the nails from cracking or splitting up. Which is a huge thing when there’s 50% of your paycheck on the line.

A layer of nail polish works as a hardener for the nail, minimizing the danger of it breaking.

It is not uncommon to hurt and even break the toenail while throwing a kick. For that reason some fighters feel the need to use polish as protection.

Yoel Romero Sporting painted toenails ahead of one of his fights
Andrei Arlovski was spotted wearing nail polish during UFC Hamburg
American fighter Jeff Monson sporting painted toenails. Monson has competed for the UFC, Strikeforce, DREAM, PRIDE, M-1 Global and more

Also… it looks bomb.

Adesanya also addressed the nail painting saying:
“My nails are fresh. I mean, if you’re gonna put this in someone else’s face, on someone else’s mouth, it’d be rude not to paint them. So, I love the drip tips. Fashionable, vibey, and I call them, ‘kick em’ in the face, send them to space.’”