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When news broke out that Israel Adesanya and Anderson Silva were fighting at UFC 234, many were euphoric. It didn’t matter that Silva is almost 44 years-old and is currently outside of the Top 10.
What happens when two mirror images of each other meet inside the Octagon? How can “The Last Stylebender” work his spell against someone who moves like him? As fans await the result of this highly anticipated encounter, here are a few numbers that have made Adesanya one of the most exciting contenders in all of MMA.
32: Wins without a loss as an amateur kickboxer. Adesanya showed early signs of promise as a kickboxer before he ventured into MMA.
21: Years old when he moved to Auckland, New Zealand, and started training at City Kickboxing alongside UFC flyweight Kai-Kara France and lightweight Dan Hooker.
80: Inch arm reach, which is among the longest at middleweight. Adesanya enjoys a reach advantage over most of his opponents, and this has served him well as a striker.
6: First-round stoppages to his credit. When Adesanya smells blood, he finishes. His killer instinct is most apparent in his knockout wins over James Griffiths, Kenan Song, Andrew Flores Smith, Melvin Guillard, Stuart Dare and Derek Brunson.
55: Percent striking accuracy. He is a precision striker who has attempted 436 significant strikes in the UFC, connecting 241 of them. What’s even remarkable is the fact that Adesanya has only had four fights in the UFC and finished two of them.
119: Significant strikes is his most in a single fight. This was against Tavares, who could only land 40 significant strikes.
4: Fights in 2018. Adesanya stayed active last year. After his impressive debut against Rob Wilkinson in February, he also fought in the months of April, July and November.
3: Performance of the Night Awards earned. Gathering fans in his Octagon debut wasn’t difficult for Adesanya after stopping Wilkinson via knees and punches in the second round. That win afforded him a Performance of the Night bonus. He was given the same award after his conquests of Tavares and Brunson.
2: Fighters have gone the distance with him. The first one is Marvin Vettori, who remains his toughest challenge yet. They engaged in a three-round war, and Adesanya emerged victorious via split decision. For his next fight, Adesanya was placed in the headliner alongside Brad Tavares. “The Last Stylebender” overwhelmed his opponent with strikes to take the unanimous decision victory.
62: Combined KO and TKO wins in professional boxing, kickboxing, and MMA. He has 48 in kickboxing, one in boxing and 13 in MMA.
4: Countries in which he has fought in. Apart from his home country of New Zealand, he also displayed his talents in China, Australia, and the United States.
7: Years as a professional MMA fighter. Adesanya debuted at an event called Supremacy Fighting Championship on March 24, 2012.