Israel Adesanya Gets Awarded And Gives Amazing Acceptance Speech For a lot of people, Israel Adesanya was the 2019 Fighter of the Year. However, he recieved an arguably much bigger award, by being donned New Zealand's Sportsman of the Year. Adesanya has had quite the run in his short UFC tenure. The majority of this meteoric rise occurred in 2018, but the biggest achievements came in 2019. It was here, that he won the interim belt in an all-time classic, then unified that by battering Robert Whittaker. As a result, he was a true breakout star for the year. Following this incredible year, Adesanya was looked at in high esteem. He was many news outlet's Fighter of the Year, because of his amazing efforts and breakout ability. Although it seems likely that this accomplishment was nothing compared to one he just received in his backyard of New Zealand. He was honored with the New Zealand Sportsman of the Year award, and presented with it at the ISPS Handa Halberg Awards, at the Spark Arena. This is a video of his acceptance speech: https:\/\/twitter.com\/i\/status\/1227890421780578304 \u201cIt\u2019s the 57th annual Halberg\u2019s. It\u2019s the first time combat athletes have been nominated so you know, I have to do this for the old, the combat athletes of old. Rest in Peace Jimmy Thunder, David Tua, Doug Viney sitting right there, Ray Sefo, Joseph Parker, and now Israel Adesanya. \u201cKiwis, we love a good one out. We love a good fight, this is part of the culture. Straight up. I mean, we\u2019re a country of a warrior race, the Maori. This is part of our culture. If a fight broke out right now, what would you all do? You\u2019d ignore me and you\u2019d watch the fight. It\u2019s in our DNA. We\u2019ve been doing this for so long, you guys have no idea. Welcome to the party. We\u2019ve been doing this for so long, like I said. \u201cWay back, we\u2019ve been wearing New Zealand on our back all over the world. We did it twice last year in Australia, UFC 234 and UFC 243, me and two of my other teammates, we repeated the three-peat. And guess what, next weekend we have other people coming to our shores at UFC Auckland and we\u2019re gonna defend the land, and repeat the three-peat. Understand this. \u201cSo for me, this really isn\u2019t for me. This is for like, the young generation coming up who get to see someone they can relate to, someone who is of my essence, if you will. A combat athlete that they can feel like, \u2018Man, my sport,you know\u00a0 like Muay Thai or Jiu-Jitsu or Wrestling is up there with the All-Blacks, the Black Caps, and the Tall Blacks and New Zealand\u2019s top sporting teams. We\u2019re on a level playing field. "Like I said, we\u2019ve been doing this for a long time, so this is for them, and this is for my team, City Kickboxing. This is for my coach, Eugene Bareman, because without him my career wouldn\u2019t be s--t, I wouldn\u2019t be here. Understand that. And one more thing I\u2019ve got say, also shout out to Ash from Engage, I see you. One thing we need to do right now, I really need to say this. New Zealand we have this f-- Uh, woo, censorship! Where\u2019s the swear jar? Nah, f--k it. We have this culture of tall puppy syndrome which is messed up. Coming up in this country, I\u2019ve seen it so many times. When you see somebody rising you want to tear them down because you feel inadequate and you want to call it humble. I am extraordinarily humble, believe me, but you\u2019ll never know that because you never get to know me. Understand this, if you see one of us shining, whether it be the netball team, the Black Caps, the Sailors, pump them up! Embrace them! Because if they win, we win, if I win, you win! Understand that. \u201cAnd I know some of you will be a little salty, you might clap but you\u2019re a little salty, but hey, stay salty, the Black Kiwi\u2019s gonna fly all day. Shout out to myself in this mustard-colored jacket and shout out to the guy with the mustard colored face as well. Peace!\u201d Congratulations to Israel Adesanya for winning this massive award! He delivered an excellent speech, which the crowd loved. It just goes to show how big of a star Izzy is turning out to be, especially in his homeland.