Israel Adesanya Sends a Message to People Struggling With Bullying After UFC 253 Win

Published 09/28/2020, 8:25 AM EDT


Israel Adesanya put an end to his bitter and toxic feud with Paulo Costa at UFC 253. The now 20-0 fighter defended his middleweight strap against ‘Borrachinha’ with a second-round KO win. That had to have felt good for Izzy, who had quite a harsh build-up to this fight.

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Both fighters took a lot of jabs at each other. However, ‘The Lats Stylebender’ thinks that some things that Costa did were with the spirit of bullying. He particularly pointed out a skit that Costa had made where he beats an Adesanya look-alike. It was to poke fun at the champion’s display against Yoel Romero.

‘The Last Stylebender’ has been open about his past struggles with bullying. He aired these feelings out in the UFC 253 Press Conference and dedicated his win to everyone that has been subjected to the same.

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He said, “I wanted to take a bite out of the bully because even some of the shit that he did online. A reporter showed me this video of him with his little entrance and skit that they made, some little memes and other shit he’s been doing. Because that’s what kids now. Back then, we didn’t have that when I was growing up. But now kids they go through that shit, social media bullying. And he was trying to do that to me…It was like he was trying to trigger out the younger Izzy…But he got the big dog. I dedicate this fight to you guys because you have to fight back.”

Israel Adesanya and his history with bullying

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Adesanya wasn’t always a champion kickboxer or MMA fighter. Just like how he has a thin and slender frame despite being atop the fight game, that is something he has carried with him his entire life. That caused bullying when he was growing up.

Adesanya said that he was bullied in school growing up in New Zealand. He couldn’t match the physicality of the Maori people around him and would get picked on. Some of it was even related to his race. Nevertheless, he persevered and eventually became a champion kickboxer before ruling as the undisputed king of the middleweights in the world.

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It is nice to see a champion take a stance like this, especially because stories like these make him relatable to a bunch of kids around the world. That is what a World Champion should do.

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Ishaan Bhattacharya

1458 articles

Ishaan Bhattacharya is an NBA, NCAA Basketball, and Combat Sports writer at EssentiallySports. Currently, Ishaan is pursuing a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication. Previously, Ishaan has written for The Indian Express, The Quint, Sportskeeda, and WrestleClub.

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