Undisputed UFC middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya has reflected on his UFC 276 performance against recent title chaser, Jared Cannonier, admitting that his display was something he was “happy” with – denying claims from spectators who questioned his activity against the Texan.
Adesanya, who headlined UFC 276 earlier this month during International Fight Week, managed to successfully defend his undisputed middleweight crown, handing Cannonier a unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 50-45) loss.
However, immediately following the fight, Adesanya was widely criticized for his performance against Cannonier, where the two rarely engaged for lengthy exchanges, with actor and Hollywood lead, Chris Pratt infamously first taking umbrage with Adesanya’s display, before eventually refuting his comments.
Breaking down his own performance against challenger, Cannonier, City Kickboxing staple, Adesanya insisted that he was “happy” with his display.
“I rewatched it two days after the fight and I watched it once, that’s all I needed for now,” Adesanya said on his YouTube channel. “I wasn’t ecstatic about the performance, but I was happy with it. It wasn’t what people were trying to make it out to be…”
“I didn’t really take my foot off the gas too much,” Israel Adesanya explained. “The only time I wasn’t able to was when he (Jared Cannonier) held me against the fence. I broke away when I needed to and kept on fighting, as soon as I broke away. I’d normally just keep on him straight away because I know he’s tired from holding me, because I could feel his squeeze just holding me.
When he weakened, I got away and put pressure on him straight away, trying to create openings. I just wasn’t able to create the ones that I needed at the time. But yeah, these things happen.”
Securing his sixth successful defense of the middleweight crown, Adesanya is now expected to draw former kickboxing opponent, Alex Pereira before the end of this year in his next title showdown – with the Brazilian stopping Sean Strickland with a brutal first round KO also at UFC 276.