When Rotorua Boys' High School inducts its next group of high-achieving former students into its Hall of Fame, Israel Adesanya's name will definitely be there.
Adesanya outclassed Paulo Costa in his UFC 253 middleweight title defence with a round-two TKO in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, handing the Brazilian his first professional loss.
At the end of the fight, Adesanya could be seen breakdancing on the octagon floor and, while looking straight into the camera, yelling the names of places he has called home, including "Auckland, Whanganui, Rotovegas".
His performance has also captured the attention of the world's UFC media - and Rotorua's leaders say the exposure is exciting while also showing young people they can achieve international success if they put in hard work and dedication.
The Kiwi has moved to 20-0 in his professional mixed martial arts career and his success on the world stage will be acknowledged by his former school, Rotorua Boys' High School, when it inducts its next group of 16 former students into their Hall of Fame.
Principal Chris Grinter said he would love it if Adesanya could be at the celebration, scheduled for June 4, 2021, describing the Halberg Awards 2020 Sportsman of the Year as an inspiration.
"Although he's outgoing in his approach to his sport and the media I think he's a humble man who knows where he came from," Grinter said.
"Any former student achieving at an impressive level like he is, it's inspirational and it's encouraging.
"That's what he does for the young men."
When Grinter saw footage of Adesanya breakdancing in the cage after beating Costa, he was reminded of the kid who used to attend his school.
He said Adesanya was known at school for his breakdancing, remembering him practising his moves in the corridors of the school.
"That's how we remember him."
He said Adesanya's success showed the school's current students that they could also achieve success on the world stage.
"It just confirms your belief that any of our young people can achieve literally anything if they put their heart and mind to it.
"Here's this young man who came into Rotorua following a move from Africa and look at him today."
Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick said Adesanya was someone the city could be proud of.
"Israel Adesanya has gone on to become a very successful sportsman, and, as a community, we take pride in knowing that he spent some of his younger years here in Rotorua and at a school that continues to produce great young men," Chadwick said.
She said Adesanya acknowledging Rotorua at UFC 253 was "very exciting and could definitely spark an interest in people who may not have heard of, or thought about, visiting Rotorua before".
"Exposure from international athletes and sports events always helps to put our special place on the world map.
"Rotorua is a unique and spectacular place to visit for those from both near and far. Experiences here are plentiful, and our visitors will always be treated to the manaakitanga that our city is so well known for."
Destination Rotorua's executive manager destination marketing and communications, Jo Holmes, said it was always good to see Rotorua acknowledged internationally.
"Hopefully, Israel's shout-out inspires some of his fans from around the world to visit Rotorua themselves one day."