At UFC 243 Israel Adesanya will take on Robert Whitaker to determine who the real champion of the middleweight division is.
The fight takes place on October 6, 2019 at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia and during fight week media day, Adesanya who was born in Lagos, Nigeria but moved to New Zealand at the age of 13, spoke with reporters about his dream of being able to inspire the Nigerians the way Filipino boxing legend Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao does in the Philippines.
“When I saw (Manny) Pacquiao, the May-Pac fight, I realized the Filipinos they go strong man.” said Adesanya.
“They shut the whole country down when he (Pacquiao) fights. I want to be that guy that when I fight Nigeria shuts down, all the crime rates drop, everything when I’m fighting.”
The ambitious young Nigerian-New Zealander is currently undefeated in his mixed martial arts career with a record of 17 wins and 0 losses. He was originally a kickboxer and dabbled in boxing before heading into mixed martial arts.
He is known as “The Last Stylebender” for his electrifying striking style which blends flash with technical skill.
Adesanya proved a lot of doubters wrong when he defeated hard hitting Mexican-American wrestler Kelvin Gastelum in a rough and tumble fight at UFC 236 to become UFC interim middleweight champion. During the fight he took punishment and never wilted, he also hurt Gastelum badly in a back and forth battle.
He doesn’t have any ambition of following Conor McGregor into the boxing realm because he believes that he can make $100 million fighting in the UFC and doesn’t need to go to boxing to do so.
He will need to put on an impressive performance to become a huge star in the UFC and he will have a tough task ahead of him when he faces Robert Whitaker at UFC 243. If he prevails, especially in dominant fashion he will surely have a hero’s welcome when he visits Nigeria again.
Erwin Lastimosa is a long time boxing fan and enjoys boxing discussion with his peers. Some of his favorite fighters are Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran, Marvin Hagler, Muhammad Ali, Flash Elorde, Mike Tyson and Manny Pacquiao.