Israel Adesanya shares advice for young fighters: “Don’t be fake like Jon Jones”

Israel Adesanya
Image Credit: UFC on Youtube

UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya is one of the biggest stars in mixed martial arts today, and many up-and-coming fighters are bound to try to emulate his success.

Speaking on the latest episode of BJPENN.COM Radio, Adesanya shared some advice for young fighters that seek to follow in his footsteps.

He emphasized the importance of being true to oneself — something he feels his rivals Jon Jones and Tyron Woodley have failed to do.

“Take notes in a sense of how I’ve handled the pressure, the media and all that kind of stuff,” Adesanya said. “But don’t be taking notes and be like, ‘Izzy does things like this. I’m going to do it like this.’ You have to be yourself. You can’t be anyone else but your best you. That’s what’s going to sell. Don’t try and be fake like Jones, don’t try and be a rapper when you can’t rap.

“Just be yourself,” Adesanya added. “And me being myself is something like what I did for my UFC entrances in the last fight and the previous one, just making references to my culture through dance, which I love. Making references to anime culture and some other nerd shit and it’s cool shit that really vibes with me. So I’m being authentically myself and these guys should take notes in being authentically themselves. Figuring out what that is. It’s not for everyone. And I’ve changed the game with that now and in doing that.”

Israel Adesanya made his UFC debut in early 2018. In less than two years, he became the undisputed middleweight champ with a knockout win over Robert Whittaker. He’s since defended the title once with a win over Yoel Romero.

What do you think of this advice from the UFC middleweight champ?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 5/1/2020.