Israel Adesanya Dares the UFC to Not Protect Him Because He Doesn’t Need It

Israel Adesanya 2

For those who were in the know, Israel Adesanya’s debut at UFC 221 was highly anticipated. After he dissected his opponent and gave his fire emoji post-fight speech though, everyone was leaping onto the bandwagon. Since then, he’s followed up with social media posts and more media appearances, proving to everyone that he’s ready for the spotlight. Some are worried that his performance and personality will cause the UFC to fast track the prospect, but Adesanya isn’t worried about that one bit. In fact, he welcomes it.

“That’s why we took so long to get to the UFC. We took our time coming to the UFC because we wanted to make sure that if they gave us a top-15 or top-10 or even top-5 straight away, that I would be ready. We wanted to make sure that I could take on anyone in the world. All these other people coming from ‘Looking for a Fight’ and they jump in the UFC after 3 or 4 fights, some of them do well, some of them don’t. Before you swim in the depths of the ocean you got to make sure you can swim with sharks. The difference is I don’t just swim with the sharks, I eat them and that’s what I’m about to do.”

“This is all stuff I’ve prepared for and planned for. This feels like déjà vu and I’m just waiting. Don’t protect me, I don’t need it. I’m ready to kick the door down so let’s go all in son. Look at my stand-up last week, that was just me testing the waters and picking him apart. I didn’t even show 3-percent of what I could do. That’s just my stand up alone and people haven’t even seen my grappling yet. People always just say the same thing, ‘Wait until he fights a good wrestler.’ Blah, blah, blah. Well, find someone who can keep me down long enough and I’ll show you guys what I can do.” — Israel Adesanya speaking to MMA NYTT.

An exciting striker with no fear of wrestlers and an ability to market himself? Israel Adesanya has all the tools to become the UFC’s next big star, especially after having one of the best debuts any fighter could ask for. The next couple of fights may even be more important than his first UFC fight. He set a benchmark for those unfamiliar with him and now has a lot of talk to back up. Can he keep this hype train going? We’ll all be watching from our window seats.

This article first appeared on on 2/23/2018.