August 16, 2022

The newest product of New Zealand’s esteemed Metropolis Kickboxing has maybe one of the best nickname within the UFC – and the backing of its world champion fighters to turn out to be the game’s newest star.

Mike Mathetha, higher generally known as Blood Diamond, moved from war-torn Zimbabwe when he was 10, admitting it was ‘scary’ to go to highschool amid riots and the Mozambican civil battle.

The 34-year-old informed Day by day Mail Australia the tradition shock was ‘big’ after arriving in New Zealand from Africa – admitting there have been ‘about 10 black households’ in all the city he settled in.

His newest struggle was a first-round submission loss to Jeremiah Wells, a struggle he was tipped to win. Blood Diamond and his staff admitted he acquired dragged right into a floor struggle and didn’t get to showcase his talents.

In footage previous to the weigh-in for the struggle, Adesanya was caught tearing up after seeing his sparring companion on the verge of attaining his dream – one thing Blood Diamond stated reveals his selflessness.

Blood Diamond (centre) has the backing of sparring companion and UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya (proper) to turn out to be the game’s newest star

‘He was the one different black fighter. We checked out one another, you’re a black fighter, I’m a black fighter. We’d punch one another and it was nice, 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 as a result of his early reference to UFC Middleweight Champion and sparring companion Israel Adesanya.

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‘The world might even see him because the champ, however he’s our brother. He celebrates us once we win and picks us up when now we have our losses,’ Blood Diamond stated.

‘If somebody like that may do this within the place he’s in, it encourages different teammates to help one another.’

Blood Diamond stated the nickname has adopted him all through his profession and he’s now requested iconic ringside announcer Bruce Buffer to solely introduce him utilizing the moniker.

The 34-year-old is the one Zimbabwean to struggle within the UFC, however hopes the pathways constructed by him and Nigerian-born Adesanya will enable others to pursue the game.

The pure athlete was a late bloomer in MMA, explaining he tried ‘actually every thing’ as a child in Africa and NZ.

‘I truly liked 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 - but proudly wears his home country's colours

Blood Diamond moved to New Zealand from war-torn Zimbabwe when he was 10-years-old – however proudly wears his residence nation’s colors

Like Metropolis Kickboxing teammate Kai Kara-France, Blood Diamond was drawn to combating to flee the difficulties of college life – saying the gymnasium helped him discover his place in his adopted nation.

‘It offers you some type of energy. Being picked on, you simply really feel helpless. There’s nothing you are able to do, you’ve simply acquired to take it,’ he informed Day by day Mail Australia.

‘It felt protected, 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 assumed I’d higher be taught to struggle.’ 

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Blood Diamond will face Cosce within the prelims of UFC277 dwell from the American Airways Heart in Dallas, Texas from noon on Sunday (AEST).