UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya has admitted that he feels so unnattached to the championship belt that he doesn't even know where it is. Adesanya revealed that the title he holds is the same one that he won when he first became interim champion.
Adesanya did, however, joke that fans shouldn't worry because if he doesn't know where the belt is, someone on his team does.
Speaking to Combat TV ahead of his middleweight title defense against Jared Cannonier later this year, 'The Last Stylebender' shared details of the belt, admitting it is heavier than it looks, which he believes is by design.
"The belt is quite heavy. I actually don't know where it is right now. I'm not attached to that thing at all. I know who the f**k I am, I've been a champ before the belt. It's heavy. It doesn't need to be that heavy but I think they made it heavy for the emphasis. So you know you're holding something like, 'Woah, this is something of subtance.' It's a cool belt. I like it."
The Nigerian-New Zealander also couldn't help but make a dig at former champion Robert Whittaker. Adesanya believes that his first victory over 'The Reaper' should be counted as a successful defense because he's still carrying the same championship belt.
"It's the same belt. That's why I said to people that I'm a five-time defending champion. F**k what they said about four. This is just common sense... When the champ who couldn't show up to work many times [Whittaker], who just pulled out recently as well, funny that, I'm the champ in the meantime. I beat him. That counts as a ruby on my belt. So my belt has five rubies. I don't give a f**k what the media says or what the commission says, I'm a five-time defending champion because I know who the f**k I am."
Watch Israel Adesanya discuss his UFC middleweight belt with Combat TV here:
Mike Tyson gives Israel Adesanya words of advice before fight with Jared Cannonier
Israel Adesanya met former boxing Heavyweight Champion Mike Tyson last month when he appeared on the Hotboxin' podcast. The two men shared deep conversations as they discussed their careers and their impact on people's lives.
Adesanya admitted to feeling unworthy of being someone’s role model, revealing that he feels anxious knowing that there are children looking up to him. Tyson had some words of wisdom for 'The Last Stylebender' that seemed to ring true for the middleweight champion.
"You wanna know why you feel like that? It's because you feel like you're not worthy of that. In your heart, you feel you're not worthy of being a role model... What's your definition of fake? Saying something to somebody and doing something else? You're not doing that. Why are you worrying about being a bad role model? You're not doing that."
Israel Adesanya will be looking to complete his official fifth title defense when he faces Jared Cannonier on July 2. The champ will be hoping he can weather the storm of Cannonier's explosive KO power as he chases Anderson Silva's record 10 middleweight title defenses.
Watch Israel Adesanya on the Hotboxin' podcast with Mike Tyson here: