Top Automobile Company, BMW, has terminated its ambassadorial deal with Nigerian-born martial artist Israel Adesanya over the threat to rape a colleague.
The UFC champion who currently holds a 20-1 record became the rave of the moment following his impressive displays in the ring.
A BMW statement released to the sports magazine, Herald, read: “Due to the comments made by an athlete online, we have reviewed our pending association with said athlete and we have decided not to push forward with a specific ambassador for the brand at this time in New Zealand.”
Adesanya is the current Ultimate Champion in the UFC middleweight and also the former challenger of the Glory Middleweight Championship competition of kick boxing.
Nicknamed Style Bender, Adesanyawon 15 of his bouts by knockouts and lost one by the decision of the judges.
The Deputy Prime Minister and Sports Minister of New Zealand, Grant Robertson, was the first official to condemn Style Bender for his Instagram comment threatening to rape Kevin Holland, a colleague at UFC.
The cynical rape comments made by Adesanya were later described by him as a “fall-off of fight talk” between him and Armann, to whom he once lost a professional fight.
Style Bender admitted to his flop when he apologized for making the rape threat comment and stated that he has learned his lessons on public engagement from it.
Adesanya concluded by stating that he was not intentional about the rape threat statement but was rather sensational and unknowingly “crossed the line”. He made this statement in his Instagram post on Friday with a remorseful and apologetic submission.
Born in Lagos to an accountant father and a nurse in Nigeria, Adesanya traveled to New Zealand at age 10 with his family and picked an interest in boxing as a result of being bullied in school.
Style Bender won the World MMA International Fighter of the Year in July 2020, and also the Halberg New Zealand Sportsman of the year in 2019 amongst many others.
Puma and Stake.com are other companies that also have ambassadorial deals with Style Bender and he will be hoping his apologies save him from losing these endorsements.