Mike ‘Blood Diamond’ Mathetha explains how he ‘constructed a brotherhood’ with UFC middleweight king Israel Adesanya by punching him within the face
- Mike ‘Blood Diamond’ Mathetha is the newest Metropolis Kickboxing UFC star
- The 34-year-old fled war-torn Zimbabwe and moved to New Zealand as a toddler
- He was bullied at school earlier than discovering peace in combined martial arts
- Blood Diamond is the sparring companion of champion Israel Adesanya
The most recent product of New Zealand’s esteemed Metropolis Kickboxing has maybe the most effective nickname within the UFC – and the backing of its world champion fighters to change into the game’s newest star.
Mike Mathetha, higher often known as Blood Diamond, moved from war-torn Zimbabwe when he was 10, admitting it was ‘scary’ to go to high school amid riots and the Mozambican civil battle.
The 34-year-old informed Day by day Mail Australia the tradition shock was ‘enormous’ after arriving in New Zealand from Africa – admitting there have been ‘about 10 black households’ in your complete city he settled in.
His newest battle was a first-round submission loss to Jeremiah Wells, a battle he was tipped to win. Blood Diamond and his staff admitted he obtained dragged right into a floor battle and did not get to showcase his skills.
In footage previous to the weigh-in for the battle, Adesanya was caught tearing up after seeing his sparring companion on the verge of reaching his dream – one thing Blood Diamond stated exhibits his selflessness.
Blood Diamond (centre) has the backing of sparring companion and UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya (proper) to change into the game’s newest star
‘He was the one different black fighter. We checked out one another, you are a black fighter, I am a black fighter. We would punch one another and it was tremendous, we constructed a bond and a brotherhood out of that,’ he stated.
Like many fighters, he turned to martial arts as a result of he was bullied in school – earlier than discovering a ardour largely resulting from his early reference to UFC Middleweight Champion and sparring companion Israel Adesanya.
‘The world might even see him because the champ, however he is our brother. He celebrates us after we win and picks us up when we’ve got our losses,’ Blood Diamond stated.
‘If somebody like that may do this within the place he is in, it encourages different teammates to assist one another.’
Blood Diamond stated the nickname has adopted him all through his profession and he is now requested iconic ringside announcer Bruce Buffer to solely introduce him utilizing the moniker.
The 34-year-old is the one Zimbabwean to battle within the UFC, however hopes the pathways constructed by him and Nigerian-born Adesanya will permit others to pursue the game.
The pure athlete was a late bloomer in MMA, explaining he tried ‘actually every part’ as a child in Africa and NZ.
‘I truly cherished hockey, subject hockey. I used to be surprisingly fairly good at it,’ he stated.
Blood Diamond moved to New Zealand from war-torn Zimbabwe when he was 10-years-old – however proudly wears his dwelling nation’s colors
Like Metropolis Kickboxing teammate Kai Kara-France, Blood Diamond was drawn to preventing to flee the difficulties of college life – saying the health club helped him discover his place in his adopted nation.
‘It offers you some form of energy. Being picked on, you simply really feel helpless. There’s nothing you are able to do, you have simply obtained to take it,’ he informed Day by day Mail Australia.
‘It felt secure, I earned some energy. I hate working, if I attempted working they’d catch me. The worst factor that occurred was getting whooped whereas drained so I believed I might higher study to battle.’
Blood Diamond will face Cosce within the prelims of UFC277 dwell from the American Airways Heart in Dallas, Texas from noon on Sunday (AEST).