Israel Adesanya sports new face tattoos with a message of rebirth: ‘The old version of you must die before you come alive!’


Israel Adesanya is sporting some new, very noticeable ink.

Adesanya is well-known for his love of body art, once even breaking down his various tattoos to GQ Sports, and should they ever decide to do a follow-up with the former UFC middleweight champion, he’ll have some new work to show off. Over the weekend, Adesanya added some new pieces to his body, including a pair of face tattoos.

In a post to Twitter with the caption, “The old version of you must die before you come alive!” Adesanya showed off his new face tattoo, which is the word “Dragon” in Arabic. The post includes a video of the tattooing, with the audio of a famous Malcolm X quote: “I don’t worry. I tell you, I’m a man who believes that I died 20 years ago and I live like a man who is dead already. I have no fear whatsoever of anybody or anything.”

At the end of the video, Adesanya flashes an image of the character Gaara from Naruto, who appears to have inspired the location of the “Dragon” tattoo above his left eyebrow. A massive anime fan, Adesanya’s love for Naruto is well-documented.

The “Dragon” tattoo is not the only recent addition to Adesanya’s collection though, as “The Last Stylebender” also added another face tattoo – what appears to be a pair of feathers just outside of his right eye – and a large neck piece, showing the Egyptian God of War, Montu.

The message from Adesanya seems clear heading into 2023 that the former long-reigning UFC middleweight champion is looking to reclaim the title from his nemesis, Alex Pereira, who unseated him at UFC 281 with a fifth-round knockout. Though a rematch has not yet been made official, the two are expected to run it back later this year.


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