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‘There’s always more to learn’ - Israel Adesanya gives Saenchai kick a spin

The UFC middleweight champion looks to continue adding to his arsenal ahead of his upcoming title rematch with Robert Whittaker.

Israel Adesanya lands a head kick on Marvin Vettori in their UFC 263 title bout.
Israel Adesanya lands a head kick on Marvin Vettori in their UFC 263 title bout.

If there were any remaining questions as to whether or not Israel Adesanya was going to be fighting Robert Whittaker again this coming February, at the very least it appears that the champ is indeed getting ready to perform at UFC 271.

‘The Last Stylebender’ recently uploaded a UFC 271 Fight Camp video blog to his YouTube page, featuring a trip to Taekwon-Do champion Carl Van Roon’s martial arts academy in Auckland, New Zealand.

In the video, Adesanya showed off some of his prodigious kicking skills, working with a few students at the academy, even testing out a Saenchai-style cartwheel kick at one point. Despite a wealth of world class experience, and his own elite striking prowess, the UFC middleweight champion extolled the virtues of working with the younger generation of martial artists.

“There’s always more to learn,” Adesanya said, following the training session (transcript via MMA Fighting). “You can learn from anyone, from the young’ns because a lot of them — I’m sure most of them — look at me and think, ‘He’s a UFC champion. Stylebender. What can I possibly teach him?’ Trust, they can teach me a lot. And they’ve taught me a lot today already just watching the way even in the first drill the way they were snapping the kicks, I was like, ‘OK, I need to bring that back.’”

“Watching the way [Van Roon] fights, watching his old fights and the way he moves,” Adesanya added. “It kind of inspires me to want to do some more cool sh-t because I’m about the cool sh*t, I’m about the highlights and he’s a dangerous man.”

UFC 271 takes place on February 12th in Houston, TX. Outside the championship main event, the card is expected to feature a middleweight top contender’s bout between Derek Brunson and Jared Cannonier.