Israel Adesanya’s Coach Shares Ex-Champ’s New Mentality Ahead Of UFC 305 Return

Adesanya seems to have a new love and appreciation for the fight game, according to his coach Eugene Bateman.

Adesanya Attitude
(via @stylebender - Instagram)

Israel Adesanya is well aware that he won’t be fighting forever.

Approaching his 35th birthday this summer, the two-time UFC Middleweight Champion will try for a three-peat when he battles current champ and heated rival Dricus du Plessis. It’s the old guard vs. the new in the main event of UFC 305 on Aug. 17 (Aug. 18 for the locals), which takes place in Perth, Western Australia.

Coach Eugene Bareman On ‘Where Israel’s At In His Head’

One of the most active champions we’ve seen in MMA history, Adesanya took a bit of a break following his last fight against Sean Strickland at UFC 293 last September, where he lost the title by unanimous decision. We haven’t seen “The Last Stylebender” in action since, with Adesanya improving on not just his physical strength, but his mental as well.

Preparing to take back his title, longtime teammate Dan Hooker says this is “the biggest and strongest” Adesanya he’s ever seen with his coach Eugene Bareman giving more insight on where his prized pupil is at in this point of his career.

“Love what you do and appreciate what you do,” Bareman told Combat TV of Adesanya’s mentality ahead of UFC 305. “If you haven’t done it for a while because you’ve been out, then show appreciation for it and understand that you might have missed it and understand that you can’t do this forever. I think that’s where Israel’s at in his head.”

“This Is What You Were Born To Do…”

Adesanya has been a professional fighter for well over a decade, competing in a number of combat sports including boxing, kickboxing and Muay Thai, mixing up all the martial arts from inside the Octagon since his UFC debut in 2018. Coach Bareman, who has been in Adesanya’s corner time and time again, believes that Adesanya always knew his destiny was to become the best in the world and he’ll look to remind everyone of just how great he is at UFC 305.

“He’s been on a bit of a layoff since he last fought and [he’s approaching his next fight like], ‘This is what you were born to do. This is what you love. This is why you were put on this earth…’ So, I think it’s just him coming to appreciate that and making the most of the time that you can do this.

“I think that’s reflected in his attitude and it’s reflected in the gym at the moment, just positive and enthusiastic. So, you can’t ask for more than that,” Bareman said about Adesanya.

By the time Adesanya steps across the cage against Du Plessis, it will be the longest layoff he’s had in his UFC career, which has seen him fight up to four times in a year (back in 2018). Showing an newfound appreciation for the fight game according to those around him, Adesanya doesn’t have much love for his next opponent Dricus Du Plessis after citing he was “The” African fighter in the UFC rather than the Nigerian-born Adesanya or others, who don’t reside in Africa.

Du Plessis brought the belt home to South Africa after narrowly defeating Sean Strickland at UFC 297 earlier this year. Regardless of DDP being born in the country, Adesanya vows to show where Du Plessis is really from in his title fight against him at UFC 305 this summer.

Published on June 19, 2024 at 1:51 pm
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