The middleweight champion has received significant backlash for his offensive video after hitting out at Kevin Holland by saying in a now-deleted Instagram post: ‘Bro, I will f***ing rape you.’
And the New Zealander has now been criticised by his own country’s deputy prime minister Grant Robertson, who has taken a dim view on his words and appeared to call on the UFC to take action against him.
UFC star Israel Adesanya has been widely criticised for making a vile ‘rape’ taunt to a rival
Adesanya said in a now-deleted video ‘I will f***ing rape you’ to UFC rival Kevin Holland (left)
He said: ‘There is never a time to make flippant comments about rape.
It’s just not something anybody should do.
‘I’m sure Israel understands that. I believe he has deleted the tweet in question. It will be up to the UFC as to what they do.
‘But I would certainly be making clear to him, and to anybody actually, that we have to take rape seriously.
‘It’s not an issue that anyone should be making jokes or flippant comments about at all.’
New Zealand deputy prime minister Grant Robertson (left) insisted Adesanya was wrong for making ‘flippant comments’ about rape
Rape Prevention Education executive director Debbi Tohill also told New Zealand outlet Stuff: ‘People with a large social media following can play a significant role in reducing rates of sexual violence and creating healthy cultures of consent for any sexual activity.
‘Conversely, these kind of comments where rape is used as a threat create a culture where it is acceptable to make sexualised comments with the potential to cause further harm.
‘Sportspeople and celebrities can really influence young people, we would like to see this happen in a positive way, not misused and normalising threats of sexual violence.’
Adesanya came under fire in September for appearing to ‘hump’ stricken Paulo Costa
Adesanya, who was born in Nigeria but has been a New Zealand citizen since he was 10, did not respond to the comments directly but appeared unperturbed by the criticism.
He tweeted a gif alongside the words: ‘Incoming clickbait NZ media in 3, 2, 1… This is what it’s all about…CLOUT!!’
This is not the first time the 31-year-old has landed himself in hot water for disrespectful comments.
Last February he had to issue an apology after saying his then-upcoming opponent Yoel Romero would ‘crumble like the twin towers’ against him and vowed to be ‘more careful with my words in the future’.
He also came under fire recently for pretending to hump Paulo Costa after flooring him in their September fight and saying ‘I’m going to c** all over you’ after he had won the fight.
His latest controversial incident comes in the wake of his first UFC defeat to Jan Blachowicz
Adesanya’s latest vile taunt, aimed at middleweight contender Holland, comes in the wake of his first defeat in the UFC.
He failed in his bid to become a two-weight champion against light-heavyweight king Jan Blachowicz earlier this month.
Despite the setback, the middleweight title holder insists that a future fight with fellow controversial UFC star Jon Jones will still happen.
When asked by ESPN if the fight was dead, he said: ‘Hell no!
This is just a valley in my story. In any movie, in any top anime sites series, you always have the valleys and you rise up from that.
‘This is just mine and it’s like, all right, cool, bet. I’m taking this very well, and I know exactly what I have to do to get back to my true self, so yeah, I’m doing just that.
But nah, that fight’s not dead. I’m coming for that a***.’