Israel Adesanya revealed in Ariel Helwani's the MMA Show that he was willing to leave all he had in the ring as he headed into the last round of his fight with Kelvin Gastelum. Israel Adesanya was in a tough spot in the fourth round at UFC 236. Kelvin Gastelum had wobbled him with a headkick and the Kiwi looked hurt. The damage taken over 20 minutes of fighting was also beginning to show explicitly in the form a swollen lip and badly bruised cheek.
However, as he stood waiting for the fifth round to begin, Adesanya revealed that he told himself that he was willing to die if that's what it would take to beat Gastelum.
I'm willing to die. I'm prepared to die.
What made Israel Adesanya push his limits
Gastelum managed to hurt the 'last stylebender' in the very first round and looked on the ascendency initially. However Israel Adesanya mounted a comeback by dropping Gastelum in the second round and continued his offence well into the third. Kelvin Gastelum then landed a head kick and followed it up with a barrage to win the fourth round.
As Israel Adesanya headed into the final and deciding round, he was seen mumbling something in his mother tongue which he later revealed, meant, 'Heart of a Lion'. Israel Adesanya stated to Ariel Helwani-
I knew I had it in me, but I never ever thought I'd have to use that. I never thought I'd have to get to that point.
Adesanya vs Gastelum will be a classic battle that won't easily fade from the memory of UFC fans. It was also a glimpse into an Israel Adesanya that hadn't been seen before. Now there was no doubt that apart from being a sniper on the feet, Izzy could certainly take a beating, hang in there and out-heart his opponents too.
Israel Adesanya pushed himself beyond limits and knocked down Gastelum thrice in the space of two minutes in the fifth round. About dishing out absolute carnage in the fifth round, Adesanya said -
I know why people break I know why people get wilted. I’ve done it to many people before, I’ve done it to many men. So, I could see he was trying to do that to me, but he couldn’t, so he started to get discouraged.