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Large mural of Kiwi UFC star Israel Adesanya completed by street artist Owen Dippie

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A central Auckland mural depicting Kiwi MMA fighter Israel Adesanya has been completed.

Kiwi street artist Owen Dippie has been working on the large mural for weeks in a carpark on Victoria St.

Adesanya told 1News he’s admired Dippie’s work for some time after first seeing one of his murals near their old City Kickboxing gym.

“To be immortalised on the wall in the city that I’ve stood on by one of the greatest to do it, and right by the Sky Tower, it’s fitting, it’s poetic, it’s awesome.”

MMA fighter Israel Adesanya hugs artist Owen Dippie, who has just completed a large mural of the fighter. Photo / Dean Purcell
MMA fighter Israel Adesanya hugs artist Owen Dippie, who has just completed a large mural of the fighter. Photo / Dean Purcell

Adesanya visited the mural today alongside Dippie.

Dippie told 1News Adesanya inspires him in everything he does.

“His dedication to whatever it is, whether it’s fighting, art, music, you want to do something and you take it to that level,” he said.

Dippie, a Bay of Plenty artist, is known for his large portraits across the globe, which often scale the sides of large buildings.

His previous works have included murals of famous Kiwis Max Gimblett and Sir Edmund Hillary as well as other famous figures, including Nelson Mandela and Robin Williams.

Adesanya visited the mural today alongside Dippie. Photo / Dean Purcell
Adesanya visited the mural today alongside Dippie. Photo / Dean Purcell

Adesanya, a Nigerian-born, New Zealand-based UFC champion, spent 13 years of his life in Whanganui, where he picked up a love for mixed martial arts under the tutelage of Derek Broughton.

The former two-time middleweight champion announced in October he would be taking an extended break from the sport following his upset loss to American Sean Strickland in Sydney a month earlier, which saw him lose the title he had won back in April.

Adesanya has made a point of being an active fighter since arriving on the scene with the world’s largest mixed martial arts promotion in February 2018, and continued to take on all comers when he claimed UFC gold in 2019.



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