Israel Adesanya says he nearly pulled out of UFC 230

Israel Adesanya

On Saturday night, at UFC 230, Israel Adesanya had a coming out party of sorts. The rising star defeated Derek Brunson in the first round by TKO. Adesanya looked composed the entire fight, however, in the post-fight press conference, Israel Adesanya revealed his fight against Brunson almost didn’t happen.

“I almost pulled out of this fight,” Adesanya said. “Like literally, three days, maybe two days away from pulling out of this fight. I was limping. You can ask Dan Hooker and people at my gym. I had the baddest — I’ll post the video so it makes sense. My knee was so inflamed.

“So shout out to my dad. My dad was the smart one in this one. He said, ‘take a week off.’ So we took a week off and we’ll see how we feel and then we’ll make the call. Within three days, my knee was getting better. Then I had a cortisone shot like four days later — I checked with USADA, the golden snitch, and they said, ‘Yeah it’s cool.’ Three days and it was already feeling better. Then I got back to the gym and started killing.”

Luckily for the UFC and UFC fans, Adesanya’s knee improved and he was able to fight. He proved he is the real deal and a legitimate contender at middleweight after his performance. “The Last Stylebender” is now 4-0 in the UFC in 2018, but don’t expect him back in the Octagon for a bit.

“I’m going to have to have surgery to take away whatever injury it was,” Adesanya added. “I’m going to take some time off and really enjoy myself and soak it all in, and I’m coming back stronger. So all of you middleweights, stay ready because I’ll be staying ready.”

There are plenty of options as far as who Adesanya should fight when he returns, but he already has a name in mind.

“If Robert [Whittaker] wins [at UFC 234], it makes so much sense to do it Auckland in Spark Arena.”

When Israel Adesanya returns, who should he fight?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 11/4/2018.