Israel Adesanya will eventually seek out a rematch with Jan Blachowicz, according to his long-time coach Eugene Bareman.
Adesanya, the UFC middleweight champion, challenged Blachowicz for the light heavyweight title in the main event of UFC 259 last weekend. While Adesanya performed well in the matchup, Blachowicz ultimately left the cage with a unanimous decision win, and the light heavyweight belt still slung over his shoulder.
Speaking to Submission Radio days after UFC 257, Bareman opened up on Adesanya’s loss to Blachowicz, revealing that their team learned a lot from the setback.
“We’ve learned a sh*t-ton, to be honest,” Bareman said of the Adesanya-Blachowicz fight (via Alexander K. Lee of MMA Fighting). “We’ve learned a sh*t-ton. There’s not too much that I want to talk about, what we’ve learned, I always want to keep whatever edge that we have over everybody else, I don’t want to talk about too much what we’ve learned.
“But let me just say that as much as when you’re winning you try to learn just as much as if you were in a situation where you lost, it’s never the case,” the Adesanya handler added. “Only a loss can bring out certain amounts of attention to detail, certain amounts of enthusiasm, certain amounts of excitement to get back in and fix up some of the areas and kind of rejig a few things and rethink a few things. And we’re excited about this loss, because we know the power of it. We know that if we can capture the power of the loss, we can really take things to another level, because we’ve done it many times before.”
Bareman is pleased with the performance Israel Adesanya put forth at UFC 257, but admits Blachowicz did a few things that caught their team by surprise. Most notably, the Polish champion wasn’t nearly as aggressive as they anticipated.
“What we didn’t expect was Jan to be so standoffish,” Bareman said. “We thought he would be a lot more aggressive and we really put a lot of emphasis into our training for him to come forward and rush us a lot. When he stood there and postured with Israel a lot, we didn’t really expect that, but we were prepared for it. But I believe that made the fight a little closer than we expected it to be.”
“I think Israel performed well,” Bareman added. “Did he perform his best? No. But did he perform terribly? No. He just had a really good opponent in front of him and a really good team who had a good strategy and who had the right answers. Israel didn’t perform terribly. A lot of that has to do with his opponent, really. So not gonna try to take any credit away from Jan. He did really well there.”
While Adesanya didn’t get the win he sought against Blachowicz, it sounds like he’ll attempt to correct that outcome in a rematch with the Polish light heavyweight champion sometime down the road.
“We’re competitive, Israel’s ultra-competitive,” Bareman said. “Israel will go down and clean up and dominate 185 for a while. And then I do see Jan as being quite a long-reigning champion. I think we’ll definitely chase Jan again. He’s a worthy opponent and he’s beaten us and he’s a worthy opponent. I can’t exactly predict the future, but we will definitely come hunting for the Polish power again.”
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