Israel Adesanya, or as he likes to call himself, “the strongest weeb in the world” is one of the fastest-rising superstars in the UFC. Besides his ventures in combat sports, he is a passionate anime fan and has incorporated it into his persona.
One thing that kept him motivated through his entire journey is his hobby of watching anime– something he is quite passionate about. Here’s an interview of Israel Adesanya with Yonkou Productions talking about animes and the impact they had on his career and lifestyle, uploaded on the official YouTube channel of Netflix Anime:
Israel Adesanya, world’s strongest weeb first, UFC champion second
Fans of Adesanya know of his love for anime through his very popular nickname- The Last Stylebender. The name comes from the popular anime Avatar: The Last Airbender. This is a take on Adesanya’s recreation of fight scenes from animes, something all weebs, including the UFC champion, share a love for.
When asked about how it was growing up a weeb back when people didn’t view it as something “cool” or “popular”, he mentioned how a young man’s interest in the genre wasn’t something cool. Adesanya’s passion for anime isn’t a short-lived hobby. He has been a fan of the genre before and through the rapid popularization of animes. Adesanya even mentioned how proud he is to be part of the influence as his fans watch animes to resonate with him.
The UFC champion’s love for anime did not just help the field, but was a substantial source of motivation for him, too. Adesanya revealed how he drew inspiration from the titular character of the fan-favorite show, Naruto.
In the interview, Israel Adesanya has talked about how Naruto helped him achieve the success that he has seen. He has also popularized the “Rock Lee stance“. Rock Lee is the name of an eccentric Naruto character who relies solely on his skill as a fighter, unlike his peers who were born with magical powers.
Adesanya’s passion for anime doesn’t end here. The man also spoke about how he wanted to work as an animator. He also has worked with designing tools, specializing in vector art using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Additional evidence of his passion is an Instagram post where he is voicing a character in an anime series.
Hence, it is clear that the man lives and breathes anime.