UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya has described Nigeria as “a very corrupt place”. He said he loves his people but there are a lot of red flags about the country.
The Last Stylebender as he is fondly called, was featured in the recent episode of the Hut Boxin’ audiovisual podcast.
The Nigeria-born New Zealander, pointed out that the leaders are desperate to loot public funds.
He said: “Nigeria is a very corrupt place. I love my people but it is just that the government; everyone trying to find a way to siphon money.”
Recall that Israel Adesanya donned the Nigerian flag as he defeated long-term foe Alex Pereira via knockout at UFC 287 on 9 April, 2023, to reclaim his Middleweight title.
He was paid $3.18 million for his fight against the Brazilian, making him the third current highest-paid UFC Fighter, behind Conor McGregor and Jon Jones.
Adesanya was born in Lagos, Nigeria, the eldest of five children.
His father, Oluwafemi, is an accountant and his mother, Taiwo, is a nurse.
Adesanya attended Chrisland School, Opebi, and enrolled in its Taekwondo after-school club until he was removed by his mother due to an injury.
In 1999, he relocated to Ghana with his family for 10 months, but due to his parents wanting their children to receive a well-recognized higher education, he settled in Rotorua, New Zealand, at age 10 and attended Rotorua Boys’ High School.
Adesanya was not interested in sports during high school; instead he was interested in Japanese anime such as Death Note and the manga series, Naruto.
Adesanya was bullied during his high school years and attributes the mistreatment he experienced to his decision to pursue martial arts later in life.