So you’re probably wondering about Israel Adesanya’s sexuality and relationship status. As the current UFC middleweight champion, “The Last Stylebender” is one of the most popular fighters today. His flamboyant style and comments have led some fans to speculate about his sexual orientation.
Let’s take a closer look at what Adesanya has said himself about this topic. But first, a little background.
Here’s a quick answer:
No. Despite embracing feminine traits, UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya identifies as heterosexual. He has dismissed speculation about his sexuality, recently telling a podcast: “I’m in touch with both [my feminine and masculine sides]. This is why online people think I’m gay.” Adesanya says assumptions linking gender expression and sexual orientation are misguided. While he displays some gender-nonconforming qualities, Adesanya is unambiguous that he is sexually attracted to women.
Who is Israel Adesanya?
Israel Adesanya is a 33-year-old mixed martial artist. He was born in Lagos, Nigeria but moved to New Zealand with his family as a teenager.
Adesanya established himself as a kickboxer before transitioning to MMA in 2012. Since joining the UFC in 2018, he has taken the middleweight division by storm.
Key Facts about Israel Adesanya:
|12 wins, 1 loss
|Significant Strikes Landed
|#1 all-time in middleweight division
|Undisputed UFC Middleweight Champion
|33 years old
Adesanya is known for his slick striking skills and all-around MMA game. He employs a dynamic, creative standup style that overwhelms opponents.
Outside the octagon, he has an edgy, charismatic personality. Adesanya embraces anime and pop culture themes in his walkout routines. His flamboyance, combined with comments about his “feminine side,” have led some to question his sexuality.
What Has Adesanya Said About His Sexuality?
In a June 2023 interview, Adesanya directly addressed insinuations about his sexual orientation. He told the IMPAULSIVE podcast:
“We still have a feminine side, and a masculine side. I’m in touch with both. You know, this is why online people think I’m gay, or they literally think I’m gay.”
Adesanya clarified that just because he connects with his feminine side doesn’t mean he is sexually attracted to men. However, he has no problems displaying characteristics that some may perceive as traditionally “feminine”:
“That’s my boyfriend, apparently. Ash (Belcastro) – my manager, I guess. They see me in the cage with him all the time. ‘They’re always hugging and sh*t.’”
So in Adesanya’s own words, he identifies as heterosexual. Connecting with feminine traits is part of his identity, but that does not define his sexuality.
Hugging his friend/coach also does not indicate homosexuality either. Physical closeness, especially after an intense fight, is normal in many male relationships.
So Is Israel Adesanya Gay Or Straight?
Based on Adesanya’s own statements, he does not identify as homosexual. However, it’s impossible to definitively label someone’s sexuality unless they choose a label for themselves.
Adesanya seems comfortable with the fluidity of gender expression. He embraces both traditionally masculine and feminine qualities in his personality.
Critics should not mistake his comfort displaying “feminine” traits as proof of any sexual orientation. After all, a person’s outward gender expression does not always align with their intrinsic sexuality.
At the end of the day, Adesanya himself has dismissed rumors that he is gay. Barring any future statements from him indicating otherwise, there is no evidence that his sexual attraction is directed at anything other than women.
Why Do People Speculate About Celebrity Sexuality?
In today’s celebrity culture, stars’ relationship status and sexuality become constant topics of speculation. Every detail gets parsed by fans and media outlets.
When it comes to LGBTQ+ celebrities, public interest seems especially heightened. There is often intense curiosity whenever gender expression does not conform to stereotypical norms.
Of course, sexuality lies along a broad spectrum. More people are openly embracing fluid identities, rather than rigid labels. Yet assumptions still persist linking gender expression and sexual orientation.
For prominent LGBTQ+ celebrities, coming out publicly still involves risk. There can be backlash from intolerant segments of society.
And even for straight celebrities like Adesanya, constant questioning about sexuality can prove annoying and invasive. It’s a symptom of society’s difficulty accepting deviations from gender ideals.
The root cause lies in still-prevalent homophobia and rigid perspectives on gender roles. While acceptance has grown enormously, more openness and understanding is still needed. Celebrities like Israel Adesanya can help move the culture in that direction.
What’s Next for Adesanya’s Career?
Adesanya remains firmly fixed on cementing his MMA legacy as one of the sport’s all-time greats. After beating longtime rival Alex Pereira earlier this year, he re-established his dominance in the UFC middleweight division.
All signs point to Adesanya defending his title later this year against the winner of Robert Whittaker vs. Dricus du Plessis at UFC 290. He already holds a pair of wins over former champion Whittaker. Meanwhile, the dangerous Du Plessis hopes to ride a six-fight win streak into title contention.
At just 33 years old, Adesanya’s best years likely still lie ahead. His only professional loss came when moving up in weight in an unsuccessful bid at the light heavyweight belt. Now refocused on middleweight, he aims to continue clearing out all challengers for the foreseeable future.
Outside the octagon, Adesanya’s stardom appears primed for continued growth as well. His highlight-reel striking style translates perfectly to the expanding MMA audience. Expect “The Last Stylebender” to leverage his personality and creativity into mainstream exposure in the coming years.
And hopefully the needless speculation about Israel Adesanya’s sexuality can finally get put to rest.
1. Is Israel Adesanya openly gay?
No. In interviews, Adesanya has identified as heterosexual. He has dismissed speculation about him being gay. However, he says he embraces both traditionally masculine and feminine traits in his personality.
2. Why do people think Israel Adesanya is gay?
Some people mistake Adesanya’s gender-nonconforming self-expression as a sign that he is gay. For example, he openly displays his “feminine side,” which fuels assumptions about his sexuality. People also speculate about his close friendship with his manager. Ultimately though, his gender expression does not define his sexual orientation.
3. Has Israel Adesanya ever had a girlfriend?
Yes. Adesanya has dated women in the past. He was most recently linked romantically to dancer Jordanne Grace. However, Adesanya likes to keep his personal life private for the most part.
4. What female UFC fighters has Israel Adesanya been rumored to date?
There has been internet chatter about Adesanya possibly dating fellow UFC fighter Andrea Lee. The two have interacted friendly on social media, fueling dating rumors among fans. However, neither Adesanya nor Lee have confirmed actually being in a relationship.
5. What does Israel Adesanya say to claims that his manager is his boyfriend?
Adesanya laughs off suggestions that his manager, Ash Belcastro, is his “boyfriend.” He points out that they are good friends, so being affectionate comes natural. Belcastro manages Adesanya’s career and is a constant fixture in his camp and at fights. But Adesanya makes it clear their relationship is platonic, not romantic.