Israel Adesanya faced Brazilian knockout artist Paulo Costa last Saturday in the main event of UFC 253 where the reigning middleweight champion comfortably dispatched Costa via a second-round TKO. Following his win, Adesanya briefly appeared to be making explicit gestures at his beaten foe.
Hardy, who never shies away from sharing a piece of his mind, addressed Adesanya’s post-fight celebration during a media scrum in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.
“It was crass, is the truth,” Hardy said (via MMA Fighting) .”It was unnecessary and it was crass. It’s not good for the sport to be seeing those things, but at the same time we see a lot of the superstars they stand out, they create headlines because of the thing that they do. [Israel Adesanya] was [mockingly] urinating on the octagon in his UFC debut. We shouldn’t be surprised by these things.
While Hardy said that he found Israel Adesanya's celebration to be in poor taste and against the spirit of martial arts, the former acknowledged the fact that these things sometimes happen in the heat of the moment after getting the better of one's opponent in heated grudge fights.
“There’s a lot of animosity between these guys and we do act out when we’re in these scenarios,” Hardy added. “When your adrenaline’s up, you’ve just won the fight, you’ve got all this energy. How many times do you see people doing terrible dances after fights and stuff? I’ve done it myself. You don’t know what you’re saying in interviews because your adrenaline’s going, you’re just ‘blllaaaaah!’ It happens. Sometimes it’s difficult to keep control of yourselves in those circumstances, but that’s when you see someone like that and you kind of think, well, it wasn’t in the spirit of martial arts and really that’s what we want to be seeing, to represent the sport as a whole. But ultimately, these people have to be their individual selves.”Published 30 Sep 2020, 21:01 IST