Nigerian-born New Zealand Ultimate Fighting Championship star, Isreal Adesanya aka Style Bender have been ditched by BMW.
BMW dropped Adesanya as a brand ambassador after the offensive comments he made in an online video.
Adesanya was due to be unveiled as the new face of the BMW New Zealand on Monday, the same day as the launch of the new BMW M3 and M4 models, but the German car manufacturer has decided to go a different way.
Adesanya had in the course of the week in what he perceived as a ‘fight talk’ had told possible future opponent, Kevin Holland in an online video, “Bro, I will fu**ing rape you.”
It was this that prompted BMW to prematurely terminate their dealings with the UFC star.
However, the offensive comments Adesanya made earlier this week on social media -threatening to rape a fellow UFC fighter Kevin Holland – have landed him in hot water.
In a statement issued, BMW said, “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’s stock has risen immensely in the public sphere in recent years, becoming one of UFC’s biggest stars. He has gained a 20-0 record in the middleweight division for which he is champion in, and was named Sportsman of the Year at the 2019 Halberg awards.
Adesanya on Friday apologised for uttering such a comment on Instagram.
He said, “Last weekend fight talk escalated to a point in which I crossed the line. I understand the gravity of this word and how it can affect and hurt other people apart from my opponent, although that was NEVER my intention… I am still growing under the spotlight, and I take this as a lesson to be more selective with words under pressure.”
Adesanya has himself admitted he “crossed the line” and he has also been criticised by New Zealand’s deputy prime minister, Grant Robertson.