Israel Adesanya’s head coach used ‘legit knives’ to battle complacency in the gym; ‘He even brought a machete’

Israel Adesanya

Eugene Bareman, the coach of many top MMA stars including Israel Adesanya and Dan Hooker reportedly brought knives and machetes to the gym in order to combat complacency.

Adesanya is just hours away from one of the highest-profile fights of his UFC career. The middleweight champion will defend his title against a familiar foe in Alex Pereira, a rival that famously knocked out ‘The Last Stylebener’ in one of their two meetings under the GLORY Kickboxing banner.

At City Kickboxing in Auckland, New Zealand, Bareman works as Adesanya’s head coach. He is the man tasked with preparing ‘Stylebender’ for his UFC 281 main event on Saturday night. Citing issues of complacency amongst some of the gym’s top fighters, Bareman, and other coaches decided to address the issue head-on.

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“There’s a reason and we as a group of coaches felt that there was like a little bit of complacency amongst some of the senior guys,” Bareman told Combat TV. “They were a little bit too comfortable and we decided as a group of coaches to address that.”

Dan Hooker and Israel Adesanya Say Bareman Brought Knives to the Gym and Treated Them Like Toys

Following up on the comments from Bareman during his appearance on ‘The MMA Hour‘ with Ariel Helwani, Dan Hooker revealed that “legit” knives were pulled.

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“Knives were pulled, legit knives. He would have had them on this chair, there were a number of moments. He’s always packing. We got a few big telling offs, he kicked the hornets nest a few times. It had to happen to wake everyone up, maybe we were being complacent. After that, we definitely reached a new level. He demanded more out of us.

Appearing in the same episode, Israel Adesanya confirmed Dan Hooker’s comments, even detailing times when Bareman would bring a machete to the gym and show it off like a child with an expensive new toy.

“There was a period of two to three weeks, it’s like show and tell. He’d bring a new knife to the gym, not to intimidate, he’s just a f*cking weirdo. He’s one of those guys that goes to the bushes, hunting deer. He even brought a machete to the gym one day, a cool machete. It’s like a kid with a new toy, he makes jokes about it.”