Former two-time undisputed middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya has been backed to likely prevail in the future – particularly in a mooted title rematch with Sean Strickland immediately, with head coach Eugene Bareman claiming his student has “seen everything” in terms of different styles and gameplan.
Adesanya, a former two-time undisputed middleweight titleholder, headlined UFC 293 earlier this month in Sydney, Australia – suffering a massive upset championship loss to the above-mentioned, Strickland, over the course of their five round main event championship bout.
Dropping his undisputed middleweight crown in stunning fashion, Israel Adesanya became the first titleholder in UFC history to lose his championship twice in the space of a year – having dropped the middleweight title to arch-rival, Alex Pereira back in November at Madison Square Garden.
And also suffering his first official knockdown in the opening round of his pairing with the above-mentioned, Strickland in Australia, Adesanya’s coach, Bareman claimed his student likely suffered his loss as a direct result of a “concussion” in the first frame.
“I thought he (Israel Adesanya) did really well with the knockdown and coming back from it but I have no doubt that anybody who’s actually had a fight and knows when you suffer a concussion and get knocked down like that, things happen,” Bareman told Combat TV.”
“Over the whole duration of the fight, you just don’t know what the knockdown does,” Bareman continued. “Has it slowed your reactions down, has it slowed your mental processing down? The knockdown – or the concussion, they can do a myriad of things so I have no doubt that that would have some effect and which is what it’s meant to do.”
Eugene Bareman confident of future UFC success for Israel Adesanya
Widely expected to make a return to the Octagon in an immediate title rematch with Strickland, Adesanya has been touted as ready for any tactical change or gameplan alteration by his head coach.
“No one else has these sorts of athletes because no one else has done the extensive work that we’ve done outside of MMA to gain this type of high-level experience,” Bareman explained. “This is an athlete who’s seen everything, who’s had every type of game plan imposed on him, and every sort of adjustment, every sort of look he’s had in front of him.”
“Sean (Strickland) brought something unique, and it was his awkwardness, and we thought we’d dealt with it,” Bareman continued. “We have to do a better job at dealing with the style that he defends in and some of the intricacies he brings to the table. But, Israel’s seen everything. Not every athlete that gets to the UFC does – barely any of them do. None of them have 100 fights at the highest level.”