Dana White was left very confused by Israel Adesanya’s strange reaction to losing the middleweight title at UFC 293.
‘The Last Stylebender’ surrendered the 185-pound crown for the second time in less than a year on Saturday night, suffering a lopsided unanimous decision defeat at the hands of Sean Strickland. Following the shocking result, fight fans and media members were chomping at the bit to hear Adesany’s thoughts on what went wrong in a fight that had him listed as a 7-to-1 favorite.
Instead, Adesanya briefly took the stage during the post-fight press event to address the press before turning over duties to City Kickboxing coach Eugene Bareman.
“I had a different plan for this, but again, life throws curveballs at you,” Adesanya said. “Win or lose, I wasn’t going to say much anyway, but right now, I lost tonight to the better man on the night. I just want to go and be with people who care about me — my team and they’re waiting for me so I’m going to do that.”
As it turns out, Dana White didn’t get much more than that out of Adesanya during their brief interaction following the UFC 293 headliner.
“I told you guys that night, I asked him in in the Octagon, I said, ‘Are you OK?’ White said following Tuesday’s edition of DWCS. “He said, ‘I’ll talk to you later.’ I bumped into him in the back, and he told me about as much as he told you. It was strange.”
Dana White Snaps Back at the MMA Media
With Israel Adesanya’s second loss in three fights, many fans were a bit surprised to hear Dana White suggest that an immediate rematch between Strickland and ‘The Last Stylebender’ was in the cards, but that’s exactly what the UFC CEO said during his appearance at the UFC 293 post-fight presser.
“I think you do the rematch, absolutely,” White said. “The rematch is interesting. That could be the thing, too. When you think about [Adesanya] going into the [Alex] Pereira fight, such a big fight, and you’ve been in there with this guy so many times, and then you overlook Strickland. You come in, and I don’t know. I don’t know the answers to these questions, but Israel does, and I’m looking forward to hearing it.”
White’s suggestion faced a lot of backlash in the media, leading him to walk back his comments on Tuesday and essentially blaming “stupid f*cking websites” for twisting his very clear comments.
“I think if you remember that night, people said, ‘What do you think, you think rematch?’ I said, ‘Yeah, the rematch sounds great,’” White spat. “I saw the stupid f*cking sh*t that was written by all these stupid f*cking websites. Never once did I say, ‘Yes, we’re going to f*cking do this rematch.’ There’s obviously lots of options out there, and we’ll see what happens. But yes, I’m not opposed to an Israel rematch. We’ll see how it goes.”
If it’s not a rematch between Strickland and Adesanya, then what’s next for the newly minted middleweight world champion? Most likely, the UFC will look to book ‘Tarzan’ a fight with the division’s top-ranked contender, Dricus Du Plessis. Stillknocks’ earned his spot at the top thanks to a vicious second-round knockout of former titleholder Robert Whittaker at UFC 290 in July.