Israel Adesanya – is he the best kickboxer in current MMA?

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

You may not have heard the name Israel Adesanya quite yet, but that is most likely to be changing very soon.

This kickboxer turned UFC fighter is currently 2-0 in the UFC’s middleweight division since signing with the company in December of 2017. But, prior to competing in mixed martial arts, Adesanya was an elite-level kickboxer who fought in Glory and had a professional record of 26-5-2 with 24 knockouts and was also ranked the #6 middleweight in the world by as of October 2017.

According to this video from martial arts-focused YouTube channel, MindSmash, his lengthy, elite-level kickboxing background (and cool, flashy style) makes him one of the best kickboxers ever to fight in MMA.

I’d reckon he’s definitely up there, especially regarding current active UFC fighters, but there have been some other really high-level kickboxers who have fought in the UFC and MMA over the years.

Even as of right now, just a weight class above Adesanya is Gökhan Saki who, in my opinion, is probably the best kickboxer to ever fight in MMA. Saki fought and beat literally everybody in kickboxing prior to getting into MMA and Adesanya, while definitely sporting an impressive resume, hasn’t quite done that.

Nevertheless, check out some of his handiwork in the video below from MindSmash and decide for yourself.

Israel Mobolaji Adesanya (born July 22, 1989) is a Nigerian-born New Zealand mixed martial artist and former kickboxer currently fighting in the Middleweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. In October 2017, he was ranked #6 middleweight worldwide in kickboxing by His combined fight record across kickboxing, Muay Thai, MMA and Boxing stands at 82-6-2. In December 2017, it was announced that Adesanya had signed with the UFC. He made his debut against Rob Wilkinson on February 11, 2018, at UFC 221. He won the fight via TKO in the second round. This win earned him the Performance of the Night bonus. Adesanya’s next fight was scheduled on April 14, 2018, against Marvin Vettori at UFC on Fox 29. He won the fight via split decision. [Source: Wiki]

Next: The 11 most badass walk-off knockouts ever recorded