UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya isn’t hung up by his sole knockout loss.

Adesanya has lit the UFC up ever since making his promotional debut in 2018. Displaying next-level striking and fight IQ, “The Last Stylebender” quickly climbed the ladder en route to becoming the middleweight king following his impressive knockout victory over Robert Whittaker in October.

Although he is 18-0 in mixed martial arts, it may surprise some to know that Adesanya has been knocked out before, at least, in another combat sport. That was during his kickboxing days when he was knocked out by Alex Pereira in 2017.

It only serves to show how high-level Pereira is that he was able to do that to Adesanya. But that loss has also been used to ridicule the New Zealander, particularly by UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.

For Adesanya, it’s simply part of the game and he has learned from it.

“It’s just part of the game,” Adesanya told Yahoo (via MMA News). “My coach told me, ‘if you fight long enough, everyone loses eventually’ and losses aren’t always just there to put you down — you learn from them.

“… I never let my belief get shaken by a little stumble like that. I always make sure I rise above the occasion.”

If anything, Adesanya has shown to have done exactly that given what he’s accomplished ever since.

Next up for him is a title defense against Yoel Romero in the UFC 248 headliner on March 7 — another chance to rise above the occasion.

What do you think of Adesanya’s thoughts on his KO loss?

Experienced freelance sports writer covering mixed martial arts (MMA) extensively for the last few years. Likes a good body shot.