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When Israel Adesanya's 'Aya Bi Ekun' mentality helped him clinch victory against Kelvin Gastelum

Israel Adesanya had a
Israel Adesanya had a 'ready to die' mentality against Kelvin Gastelum
Tarun Bhatt
Modified 14 Feb 2021

At UFC 236, UFC middleweights Israel Adesanya and Kelvin Gastelum fought in one of the best MMA battles of all time. Both combatants put it all on the line and delivered a barn burner for the fans.

The two gladiators battled it out for the interim middleweight championship. Israel Adesanya showcased a striking masterclass and secured victory with a unanimous decision. The fight was back-and-forth and 'Izzy' had to dig down deep after getting rocked by a head kick in the 4th round of the fight.

As the two warriors were getting ready for the fifth round, Israel Adesanya mumbled that he was ready to die inside the cage. Recollecting these moments, 'The Last Stylebender' explained his 'aya bi ekun' (heart of a lion) mentality inside the cage.

"When I say that I don't mean that (in the way) all the people say it. I said it to myself that if this is how I go... because I have lost friends (in the MMA world). For me, I was like, 'If this is how I go out, this is how I go out.' I knew I lost that 4th round.:
"It's hard to explain. Only those who put themselves out like we do, can explain anything like that. He is a guy who you have to break down. You're not gonna get him out of there with one shot. You just have to break him down."

Kelvin Gastelum took it to the Kiwi and showed his caliber as an elite middleweight. Adesanya lauded the Mexican warrior's grit and embraced Gastelum after five rounds of war.

Who will Israel Adesanya and Kelvin Gastelum fight next?

Israel Adesanya is set to face Jan Blachowicz for the UFC light heavyweight championship. With a victory over Blachowicz, Adesanya will claim his spot on the list of UFC double champions. Adesanya has attained immense popularity with his standup-based approach to fights and has stated that he has something new for fans for UFC 259.


Meanwhile, Kelvin Gastelum fought Ian Heinisch at UFC 258. After a three-round battle, Gastelum secured victory and regained his momentum after a three-fight losing streak.

Published 14 Feb 2021, 12:24 IST
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