Israel Adesanya's Kickboxing Highlights Prove Just How Good He Really Is
Before capping off his rapid 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 while he's certainly achieved a lot in his short mixed martial arts career, it seems his kickboxing career was equally as decorated.
The countless fan-made YouTube highlight reels with millions of views are testament to that.
When Adesanya finally hung up the 12-ounce gloves and swapped them for some slightly smaller MMA ones, he boasted an impressive 32-0 record as an amateur kickboxer and a 75-5 record as a professional.
His form inside the ring saw him crowned King of the Ring champion three times - twice at cruiserweight and once at heavyweight.
It also saw him climb up the ranks at the highly-popular international promotion Glory Kickboxing.
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His kickboxing experience goes some way to explaining why Adesanya's transition into mixed martial arts was so smooth.
With elite-level striking like that, it was only a matter of time before he wiped the floor with some of the biggest names the UFC had to offer - and that's exactly what he did.
The likes of Anderson Silva, Kelvin Gastelum, Robert Whittaker, Yoel Romero and Paulo Costa have all fallen at the hands (or some cases shins) of the 'Last Style Bender' on his path of destruction in the middleweight division.
His unblemished, undefeated record inside the octagon has seen him earn another shot at UFC gold - this time against newly-crowned light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz at UFC 259.
It wouldn't be the first time the Kiwi has stepped up a weight class to fight a far bigger man - just glance back at his kickboxing days as a heavyweight.
And with both men being strikers, expect this fight to stay standing.
So if you ever find yourself bored on a Friday afternoon with a big weekend on the beers firmly in your sights, do yourself a quick favour and simply type into YouTube "Israel Adesanya Kickboxing Highlights".
You won't be disappointed.
Featured Image Credit: King of the Ring (New Zealand)
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