Israel Adesanya may have notched a fifth successful title defense on Saturday against Jared Cannonier, but his way of doing so wasn’t exactly adored by those who saw it. “The Last Stylebender” coasted to a unanimous decision win in what some deemed as a mere “sparring session in the gym.”
Speaking to the media about his uneventful win in his post-fight scrum, Adesanya admitted to having a bad night at the office.
“I’ve said before in the past: on my worst, I could kill the best man. I call that suicide,” he said. “So on my worst day, on an off-night… I had an off-night tonight.
“(Coach) Eugene (Bareman) told me the people who really know you — my teammates, my family — they knew you had an off-night. And still. I still f—ked him up.”
Adesanya later gave props to team Cannonier for the adjustments they made mid-fight.
“It was in the fight, maybe when I couldn’t find my power shots. My kicks. The initiators, the jabs, the leg kicks, were working. I was trying to find the power shots, but he was adjusting well,” Adesanya said when asked about the moment during the fight when he felt off.
“It wasn’t just me versus him. It was his team versus my team, which I was also looking forward to. So I told (opposing coach) John Crouch, like, I was looking forward to that battle of the game plans. I was looking forward to John Crouch vs. Eugene Bareman, and they were adjusting well each round. I could hear them talking, what they were saying. I was, like, ‘OK.’
“He’s a formidable fighter,” Adesanya said of Cannonier. “I called this ages ago, and he showed it tonight.”
With his UFC 276 win, Adesanya improves to a record of 23-1.