PFL Europe Head of Operations Dan Hardy believes Israel Adesanya would be wise to take a break.
Adesanya was on the wrong end of one of the biggest MMA upsets of all time. He dropped a unanimous decision against Sean Strickland at UFC 293, losing the middleweight title in the process. “The Last Stylebender” couldn’t come up with an answer to Strickland staying in range, yet swaying out of the way of kicks and beating him to the punch.
What Made Strickland’s Win So Special?
Hardy spoke to Sean O’Connell during “The DAZN MMA Show” and he was in awe of Strickland’s ability to get right into Adesanya’s range with no fear.
“As a martial artist, I have to look at that and go, ‘We have to learn something from this,'” Hardy said. “There was an efficiency to what he was doing. It’s kind of a lazy style, but it was overwhelming enough. He was walking into Adesanya’s range with disregard, which is something that most people don’t do.”
Hardy was also impressed by Strickland because he doesn’t feel the newly-minted UFC middleweight champion had a smooth weight cut.
“I think it’s a statement on intention and intensity,” Hardy said. “I think he came in there as himself with nothing to hide. He looked terrible after the weight cut as well. If you saw that interview he was really not in a good state, but it’s just like, ‘Hey, let’s roll the dice and see what today brings.'”
Israel Adesanya Needs A Break, Says Dan Hardy
Hardy went on to share his belief that Adesanya should rest his body and allow for the middleweight division to move forward until he’s ready to go back to war.
“If nothing else I think Adesanya needs a break,” Hardy said. “One thing that I did think, maybe a little bit forgiving of me perhaps, but I did think what it would be like to go through a training camp to rematch Pereira having been knocked out by him, and then go from Pereira to Strickland. I can’t imagine it would make the hairs on the back of his head and neck stand up in the same kind of way. I can’t imagine he would jump out of bed with the same kind of motivation to fight Strickland. Having now been beaten soundly by him for at least four rounds, we’re gonna get a different version of Adesanya, but I still think he needs time off because he looked heavy, he looked tired.”
Here’s the full episode of “The DAZN MMA Show” featuring Dan Hardy and Sean O’Connell: