Israel Adesanya has received a lot of criticism following relatively conservative wins over his last three opponents. According to 'The Last Stylebender,' that's nothing compared to the hate and anger pointed his way after a complete dud of a fight against Yoel Romero in 2020.
Romero came into the fight determined to stand his ground and counter Adesanya coming in. Adesanya refused to play into his gameplan, staying on the outside and attacking mostly with kicks. The fight ended up being a tentative, uneventful affair that had the entire arena booing. Afterward, Dana White admitted "This was a terrible fight."
In a new video on Adesanya's YouTube channel, the New Zealander discussed the post-fight blowback, which he described as his lowest point in MMA.
"After that fight I was like 'But I was fighting, he was just standing there! Why are you blaming me?' ... That was the first time I was kind of like 'Eugh,' the fans turned on me in a way. I was like wait, what, now they say I'm s***? Like, did you not watch the fight before that? The one before before that? And that's why in that Costa fight I had the chip on my shoulder and I was just like 'Watch this.'"
"The Romero thing, that was the worst. It wasn't that worse, just the narrative and the voices that were loud. Probably the minority but they're the loudest voices, the eat a** c**s. So that's why I went into the Costa fight just free like I'm going to show you what's up. These last two fights, for me, f*** people, it's the expectation on myself, I didn't meet my expectations. But this next fight, I've been saying ... delayed gratification."
Watch Israel Adesanya discuss the fans turning on him below:
Adesanya has a lot of pressure on him to turn in an exciting performance in his next title defense against Alex Pereira. He has to be extremely careful at the same time, as Pereira has beaten him twice already in kickboxing matches.
Israel Adesanya responds to Paulo Costa's win, says 'Borrachinha' will "always be my b***h"
Israel Adesanya's last big knockout win came against Paulo Costa in September 2020. Not only did Adesanya drop Costa with a big right hand and finish him with ground and pound, he humped his fallen opponent like a dog. It was a humiliating moment for 'Borrachinha,' and Adesanya rarely hesitates to bring it back up.
Following Luke Rockhold's loss to Paulo Costa at UFC 278, Rockhold took to Instagram to declare:
"You're still a b***h"
Adesanya jumped into the comments and added:
"He'll always be my b***h"
Paulo Costa may never get his chance to avenge that loss against Israel Adesanya. The Brazilian middleweight has one fight left on his UFC contract and sounds determined to test his value on the free market.