Middleweight in the UFC Israel Adesanya Not happy with his undisputed fifth title defense in UFC 276. But that doesn’t change the way he feels about his work – Or critics who say he gave a nap against Jared Cannoner.
After five largely lackluster tactical runs against Kannier, Adesanya admitted he was “out of the night” at the T-Mobile Arena. The champ’s coach, Eugene Barman, said those close to him could tell he wasn’t at the peak of his fitness.
And I still do, Adesanya said. “It was in the fight, maybe when I couldn’t find my powerful shots, my kicks. … He adapted really well. It wasn’t just me against him. It was him against my team.”
The belt is just as important as Adesanya and the chance to beat his chosen opponent Cannonier was a match between their coaches, topped Bareman and Cannonier John Crouch. It was, he said, “the battle of the game plans.”
In the end, fans in Las Vegas didn’t like the game plan – or what happened when you headed south. However, Adesanya did not have time for haters. Just as he stopped air traffic that competed with his microphone at the press conference, he said that people who don’t like his performance, politely, don’t matter.
He said, “Damn them.” “They’ve been here since three in the evening, all drunk, not knowing what the real fight is. I said this, greats, they all got to this point.”
There Adesanya has a point. Previously dominant heroes like George St. Pierre And the Anderson Silva, his predecessor, had reached the point where many of their title defenses weren’t competitive. The less competition, the louder the accusations that they are fighting safe, point fighting, or just plain boring.
Adesanya sat in the cheap seats before he took over the UFC and defines this course.
“GSP, people were booing him, and I’m like, ‘What are you guys watching?’ You stupid ****. [Muhammad] Ali, Floyd Mayweather, same thing. You get to the point where, like, you’re so cool, people just want to see you fall. They just want to see you fall no matter what. If it’s not like an amazing performance, it’s like, uh, it’s not that good.
“But trust, Jared knows I’m a good fighter. He knows I’m a great fighter, and I gave him the same credit as well.”
There will be another chance for Adesanya to show his greatness when he tries to avenge a pair of losses in kickboxing – one by brutal knockout – Alex Pereirawho went out Shaun Strickland On the main UFC 276 card.
Strickland, the unofficial comedian champion of the UFC 276 piston, may have stolen the initiative from Pereira with his victory. Instead, he ended up in a highlight reel, and Adesanya refocused on the man who hit him.
“This is the next battle,” Adesanya said. “I saw his fight. It was a good fight, but Sean Strickland should have focused on his job, like I told him. When [will I fight him]we’ll find out.
“I’m having a guy beat me up at kickboxing, and now, he’s still chasing after me, because he knows I’m the king, and he wants to try to get that out of me. You guys see what happens when my back is against the wall.”
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