While speaking with The MMA Hour, Adesanya showed his desire to also, be part of a wrestling community.
Israel Adesanya has hinted that he may make the transition to professional wrestling in the future. ‘The Last Stylebender,’ as he is known in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), has a reputation for being a showman.
A lot of his flair comes from the WWF’s Attitude Era of entertainment, he has revealed. Adesanya has clearly drawn some inspiration from that period of professional wrestling.
After defeating Robert Whittaker in the UFC 271 main event, he spoke about the effect of WWE on him. On Ariel Helwani’s The MMA Hour, he spoke about his bond with former WWE Champion Booker T. At one point in time, he aspired to be a professional wrestler, and that dream persists.
“Those guys, I watched them and the way they owned the stage. It influences you, my presence has been influenced from watching years of the Attitude Era, WWE. I thought I was going to be a wrestler at one point. Still might, you never know.”
“It was a childhood dream. Jumping off the branch of my bed onto my brother, me and brother and my sisters as well. Doing Stone Cold stunners and all that.”
Adesanya wouldn’t be the first professional wrestler to make the switch from the sports entertainment industry. It’s not uncommon for former MMA fighters to make the transition to the ring, and the other way around.
Ronda Rousey is perhaps the most well-known recent example. Since her retirement from MMA in 2018, ‘Rowdy’ has established himself as a dominant force in the WWE.
These include Paige VanZant, Junior dos Santes, Cain Velasquez and Josh Barnett’s recent transition from cage to ring.
After their encounter at UFC 271, Booker T was full of praise for Israel Adesanya.
The WWE icon praised Adesanya’s octagon talents and dubbed him the ‘Muhammad Ali’ of mixed martial arts.
For all of Adesanya’s star power and outlandish character, Booker T was awestruck and he said, “[I was] humbled [after meeting Israel Adesanya], in a word. Just because, it takes guys like [Adesanya] to keep the guys like me relevant.
“And I understand that, I get it. For Izzy to actually pay respect to Booker T, it just lets me know how I made him feel as a young kid growing up.
“He’s a performer, he’s the Muhammad Ali of the MMA world and I tell you, he’s a generational talent. They only come along few and far between.”