Israel Adesanya has revealed the lowest point in his mixed martial arts career came after the fight against Yoel Romero.
The reigning UFC middleweight champion Adesanya is set to take on longtime rival Alex Pereira in the headlining bout of UFC 281 on Nov. 12. It will mark the promotion’s return to Madison Square Garden in New York and feature the highly anticipated title match as the main event. Pereira already holds two wins over Adesanya in kickboxing and goes into the bout confident he would replicate the same result in the new sport.
Israel Adesanya opens up about the lowest point in his MMA career
Coming off a lackluster win over Jared Cannonier during the International Fight Week’s UFC 276 card, “Stylebender” received criticism from fellow fighters and members of the community, who bashed him for putting on another ‘boring performance.’ While he has been in some thrilling bouts, his recent string of wins did not come in the most exciting way.
In a video uploaded to his YouTube channel, FreeStylebender, Israel Adesanya opened up about the lowest point in his career.
“If I’m being honest, it was the [Yoel] Romero fight,” Adesanya said (ht Middle Easy). “Because that was the first time when people were just like, ‘ughhhh boring.’ But he had another fight after me, and he did the same thing. The smart people were like, ‘Israel was right he’s doing the exact same thing’ because he knew if he made a move against me the wrong way I was gonna catch him.
“Bits of [that fight] rears its head, but I squash it because I’m an adult and I know how to handle it, but after that fight, I was like ‘I was fighting, I was trying to fight, he was just standing there why are you blaming me?”
Adesanya wanted to prove the doubters wrong after the Romero fight
The 33-year-old Nigerian-Kiwi further shared that he went into his following bout with Paulo Costa feeling like he had something to prove. In a masterful performance against Costa, Israel Adesanya did just that, scoring an incredible finish in the second round.
“That was the first time I felt the fans turned on me in a way,” he added. “I was like wait, now they’re saying I’m sh*t? I’m like did you watch the fight before that? The one before, before that? I was like, Yo! But that’s why in the [Paulo] Costa fight I had that chip on my shoulder. I was like, watch this.”
Are you excited to see Israel Adesanya vs. Alex Pereira?