Israel Adesanya is pulling inspiration from one of the great boxers in history.
UFC 281 did not end the way Israel Adesanya had hoped. The former UFC middleweight champion came into the fight knowing that he might be up against his toughest challenge yet. He was facing Alex Pereira, a man who had defeated him twice in kickboxing. Despite all the success he has had so far in MMA, Pereira still brought a unique challenge his way.
Adesanya put up a great fight for almost the entire five rounds. In the fifth and final round, Pereira landed some good shots and the fight was called, a TKO victory for Pereira. Immediately following the bout, Adesanya was humble in defeat. He attended the post-fight presser and congratulated his foe. He vowed to be back on top and went along his way.
His troubles in NYC did not end there however, he was later arrested and released by the NYPD for possession of a pair of brass knuckles. At the time his management team announced that the knuckles were a gift and he disposed of them and cooperated with authorities with no issues. Adesanya was released and was free to go home.
Israel Adesanya is pulling inspiration from Muhammad Ali
Israel Adesanya received another, more pleasant gift following his loss, a picture from the team of boxing great Muhammad Ali. The photo shows both Adesanya and Ali with similar expressions and came with a note from the late fighter’s team. He shared the gift on his social media.
“It’s a good feeling to lose. The people who follow you are going to lose too. You got to set an example of how to lose. This way they can see how to lose. It’ll be old news a week from now. Plane crashed, a president assassinated, a civil rights leader assassinated, people forget in two weeks. Old news. -Muhammad Ali speaking softly through his swollen jaw while lying on his bed at the Hotel New Yorker after losing The Fight of the Century. Ali would go on to reclaim his title two more times,” read the note attached.
This was the first loss for Adesanya in his middleweight MMA career. He should be a lock for an immediate rematch if he wants one, but immediately after the loss expressed wanting to take time off and heal up.