Israel Adesanya suffered his first loss in his MMA career at UFC 259. And while we have seen many fighters offer excuses or denials for the first losses, Adesanya agrees that he came out short this time.
A First Loss For The Stylebender
In a recent interview with ESPN MMA’s Ariel Helwani, Adesanya discussed his first MMA loss. Rather than creating excuses or criticising the judges, Adesanya identified where Blachowicz got the better of him and promises to rectify the flaws in his game. He had the following to say:
“He won the fight. I’m not disputing that. He won the fight, and he won it through crafty veteranship. He played the game very well. This is chess not chequers man. So I give it to him, he won the fight. I didn’t underestimate him. I gave him full respect after the fight you know. He gave me my respect as well. Said I hit a lot harder than people think. That’s one thing in this fight I think I shouldn’t have done. Is trying to hit him hard. I normally hit sharp. I don’t hit hard, I hit sharp. That’s one of my quotes. So I think because he’s a bigger guy, later on, I wanted to make him feel something.”
“I shouldn’t have tried to hit him hard. I should of tried to hit him sharp. But nah, he won the fight. I gave it 2-2 going into the fifth. I took round 1, I’ll give him round 2. I took round 3, I think quite easily. Then he realised what was happening. He was tired. He couldn’t sustain that output. So he knew ok I need to take him down. He did it at the right time as well. Which is something I’m definitely going to fix.”
“If you control the fight for three minutes like Blachowicz did, and you didn’t do damage, I don’t think that’s a 10-8. It was only until the last 10 seconds I was like, ‘Oh, clapper’s on.’ I shouldn’t have let him pass my guard. But I’m still here, I’m still pretty. I didn’t take any damage in the fight.”
Adesanya also went on to discuss Jon Jones. A fight between the two has been a much-anticipated affair in the MMA community. Should Adesanya have beaten Blachowicz, it may well have been the next fight on Adesanya’s radar. However, the fight is now somewhat in limbo. That did not stop Jones from reacting to Adesanya’s loss through social media. Adesanya stated the following:
“That shows his character. Find a tweet of me tweeting after he wins, even against Dominick Reyes… Find a tweet of me tweeting and kicking him or s*****g on him. He barely beat Thiago Santos. Dominick Reyes arguably kicked his ass. Find a tweet of me going at him and then taking a victory lap. It just shows the character we are. It shows the character of what kind of people we are.”
“Time will tell. There’s gonna be a time. That just showed me his true character So this is how you wanna play it? Cool… Time will tell.”
Helwani pressed Adesanya on whether he will ever share the octagon with Jones, who is in the process of moving up to heavyweight. Adesanya had the following response:
“I’m not done. This is just a little valley in my story. Like in a movie, in any anime series, you always have valleys you know. And then you rise up from that. So it’s just mine… I’m taking this very well. And I know exactly what I have to do to get back to my true self. So yeah I’m doing just that. But yeah, that’s why it’s not dead. I’m coming for that ass.”
“This is deeper than fighting now. This is deeper than fighting. He knows. We know. We all know what he’s like, we all know how fake he is. It’s not even gonna take long before he f***s his life up again. If he hasn’t already and swept it under the rug.”
Adesanya currently looks set to return to the middleweight division. However, few would be surprised if Jones and Adesanya met in the octagon at some point in the future.