This past weekend’s UFC 248 main event was lackluster for most, but middleweight champion Israel Adesanya still retained his title with an unanimous decision victory over Yoel Romero.
While the fight was a letdown for most fans, the reigning champion was not going to let the crowd effect him during the fight. Making an appearance on The Luke Thomas Show on Monday, Adesanya discussed why he wouldn’t let the crowd effect him during his fight against Romero.
“I’m cool with you guys because you guys give me a fair shake. You have to ask hard questions, you have to be objective, but I appreciate that you give me a fair shake. You know me, if this was my fault I’d be the first one to own up to it. I’d be so embarrassed. I’d be the one saying ‘f**k, I let my team down, I let people down.’“
Israel Adesanya would continue on to explain that he wouldn’t give into the desires of the crowd, because he didn’t want to let his team down.
“Like for me, I didn’t take the stupid risk that the crowd wanted me to take. You know why? Because behind me were four other men and behind them were a whole gang of other people who put everything into me. If I just deviated from the gameplan and decided to oblige for what the crowd wanted or what the fans wanted, then I’m letting those four men down. All their hard work they’ve put into me over the last three months I’m letting all that s**t go to waste. For what? Because some grongos in the crowd? No. They told me beforehand they need 25 minutes of focus, complete and absolute focus to beat this guy. It’s not just about me. If it was a street fight, maybe I could get dumb enough to do that but nah, I’ve got Andre, Eugene, Twist, and Mike, and a gang of other people that put everything into me for me to be able to just like throw it all away and throw all their hard work away.”
After acknowledging that he didn’t want to let his team down and wasn’t going to be effected by the crowd, Israel Adesanya continued that he doesn’t feel the lack of action was his fault against Yoel Romero.
“You know if it was my fault, I’d be the first one to own up and tell you that was a s**t fight. I’m objective in that way. I know that wasn’t on me that was on [Yoel Romero] and it’s his last chance he’s ever going to try and get gold, and he knows in his mind, he never went after it because he has no gas tank, he has no faith in himself. So he’s going to be the one to have to sleep at night with that thought and live with that for the rest of his life.”
While there was a fair share of criticism for the lack of activity in the main event, Israel Adesanya wasn’t going to let the fans change his gameplan.
What do you think of Adesanya’s comments?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/10/2020