Israel Adesanya is addressing his critics after some suggested he was ‘coasting’ in his UFC 276 win over Jared Cannonier.
It was at UFC 276 on July 2, 2022 that Israel Adesanya (23-1 MMA) defeated Jared Cannonier (15-6 MMA) via unanimous decision in the middleweight main event. In his fifth title defense, ‘The Last Stylebender’ retained his middleweight world championship.
Adesanya acknowledged that while it wasn’t his best fight, he was happy with the final outcome.
Unfortunately many fans were not happy with the performance and some left the fight early while others took to booing the match.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, Israel Adesanya commented (h/t MMAJunkie):
“Look, you can go down that whole fight card and people saying what they’re gonna do in the fight. Not just myself but other athletes. Shoutout to Max Holloway. He said, ‘I’ll be surprised if this goes more than three rounds,’ because he was that confident in himself. He didn’t get the job done, but you’re not gonna kick a man while he’s down.”
Continuing Adesanya said he was not ‘coasting’ in the fight:
“We all believe in what we’re gonna do, not just Max. Everyone else, ‘I feel like I’m gonna do this,’ and I know what I can do, and I know what I could have done to him and what I was trying to do to him, but it just didn’t happen the way I wanted it to. But again, I’m the one getting flack. There was no bit in that fight where I took my foot off the gas in the sense I was coasting. I wasn’t coasting.”
Finishing, Israel Adesanya spoke about the battle with Cannonier:
“I was like, I’m gonna keep touching him, and I’m gonna keep touching him until he falls. I didn’t want to overcommit because if I overcommit, I knew he was going to counter me, or I would leave myself in a vulnerable position, and that’s stupid. But I was right there in his face.”
“If you want to say I ran away in this fight, I don’t know how you’re gonna say that. I was right there in his face hitting him, striking with him. So I don’t know. People might try and say, ‘Oh, he’s this and that.’ Footwork was one of the main things. I took away 60 percent of his shots, his strikes. The other was just hand control, distance management and just basics. My jab, things like that.”
What do you think of Israel Adesanya’s justification of his performance at UFC 276?
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