Brendan Schaub thinks fans are wrong in criticizing Israel Adesanya for his somewhat uninspiring performance against Jared Cannonier in last Saturday’s UFC 276 main event at T-Mobile Arena.
Schaub acknowledges the fight was somewhat of a ‘snoozefest’ but lays the blame squarely on the challenger, not the champion.
The former UFC heavyweight thinks fans and celebrities are misdirected in their criticism of Adesanya for doing what he had to do to ensure victory and retain his middleweight title, blaming Cannonier for not pushing the action and taking the fight to the champ.
“Was the main event was a bit of a snoozefest? Yeah, I’ll give you that,” Schaub said of the UFC 276 main event on a recent episode of his podcast, The Schaub Show. (h/t BJPenn.com). “My issue is not with Izzy, Izzy is the champ. Jared Cannonier wants what he has, it’s up to him to make the fight. There’s other champions who show out and put it on the line every time, sure. But when you look at the reigning champs, who constantly defend the title, their money is rolling in.”
“Izzy knows this, and Izzy’s legacy knows this. Izzy goes, ‘He has to bring the fight to me’, and if they don’t bring the fight, you get a Yoel Romero fight. You get these decisions, you get this Jared Cannonier fight. It’s on them.”
It certainly wasn’t Adesanya’s finest hour, especially in light of him bringing Cannonier’s fake ashes to the cage during his WWE-inspired walkout, but he is still the champion. And the champion did what he had to win.
Adesanya moved to 5-0 in title defenses and has all but cleared out the middleweight division following victories over Robert Whittaker (twice), Yoel Romero, Paulo Costa, Marvin Vettori (twice), and most recently, Cannonier. His next fight is expected to be against former GLORY kickboxing champion Alex Pereira, who beat ‘The Last Stylebender’ twice under kickboxing rules.