WATCH: Israel Adesanya Performs the ‘Naruto Ninja Run’ on the Beaches of Auckland

Published 05/26/2021, 12:30 AM EDT


UFC champion Israel Adesanya is back to the grind as he prepares for yet another title defense at UFC 263. ‘The Last Stylebender’ takes on Marvin Vettori in a rematch that is several years in the making. Both men have launched their careers since they first met back in 2018 and have evolved their respective games.

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In a video posted by the UFC, Israel Adesanya is seen training in the outdoors away from City Kickboxing. The Nigerian-born champion has his entire team around him while he works on strength and conditioning. Additionally, Adesanya makes sure to not take himself too seriously as he performs the infamous ‘ninja’ run, popularized by Naruto, the anime.

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UFC 263: Israel Adesanya vs Marvin Vettori

‘The Last Stylebender’ enters his fight against Marvin Vettori off a loss. He was bested by Jan Blachowicz at UFC 259. Chiefly, Adesanya moved up to challenge Blachowicz in an attempt to swipe his undisputed title. However, Jan Blachowicz showcased his polish power and put Adesanya in an uncomfortable position to earn a UD win.

Fans are interested to see how Israel Adesanya approaches his first fight back after being defeated for the first time in MMA. However, he has suffered losses in boxing and kickboxing and maintains he’s mentally in the right space. Despite this, Adesanya’s return still intrigues fans as dominant champions are sometimes never the same after a loss.

‘The Italian Dream’: Does he have the right game plan?

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‘The Italian Dream’ certainly will be banking on the hope that Adesanya has stumbled quite significantly since his loss. However, Vettori backs his own skills and has taken away a lot from his split decision loss to Adesanya. He believes he can exploit certain weaknesses observed from Israel Adesanya’s last fight that lie in the wrestling department.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – APRIL 10: (R-L) Marvin Vettori of Italy takes down Kevin Holland in a middleweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on April 10, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Marvin Vettori put forth a wrestling clinic against Kevin Holland in his last fight and will draw confidence from that win. However, Adesanya’s skill set on the ground is arguably more evolved than Holland’s and he appears unphased by Vettori. Regardless of the way the fight plays out, fans are definitely in for a treat given the clash of styles and personalities.

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Darryl Pinto

1594 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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