Israeli “The Last Stylebender” Adesanya earned the sweetest win of his career against Alex Pereira at UFC 286. Adesanya defeated Pereira in phenomenal fashion to reclaim his middleweight title and eventually raised his hand against “Poatan”.
Adesanya did something after the win that drew notable backlash from the MMA community. The 33-year-old fell to the ground during his celebration, mimicking Pereira’s son’s earlier actions. “I just thought, ‘Where is he? I’ll find him,'” Adesanya said in a video uploaded to his YouTube channel. “And I see his child, then his sister, I think, holding her. She held them because they were crying. So I just thought: Bang! He’s just a kid!’ I say: ‘And that f— what?’ If I had a son and he got in the cage after 287 and then started doing that next to Pereira, I’d be like, ‘What the hell are you doing? Come here. Apologize – apologize to this man.’”
He continued, “The guy knocked me unconscious in his home country and then you see your kid doing that and you don’t have the discipline to scold him and then you’re back in your car in front of 281 and you’re like, ‘ Look what my son has done.’ If you don’t teach your kids manners and respect, I will. I did him a favor,” Adesanya concluded. “I did the kid a favor. Now he has a life lesson that he can hold on to forever and just remember. I’m glad I did. F— the children.”
What next for Israel Adesanya
Adesanya moved up a weight class in 2020 to challenge Jan Blachowicz for the light heavyweight title and suffered the first loss of his MMA. After reclaiming his middleweight title at UFC 287, Adesanya gave assurances that he would continue his career at 185 pounds.
– Israel Adesanya (@stylebender) April 23, 2023
If that is the case, Adesanya has several exciting encounters ahead. As of now, his next fight will be against either Robert Whittaker or Dricus Du Plessis. Current middleweight contenders #2 and #6 will face off at UFC 290 on July 10 and UFC President Dana White has claimed it’s a title eliminator, meaning the winner will most likely be next in line for the title will fight.
After battling and defeating Whittaker twice, it seems pretty obvious who the champion will be cheering for a new challenge in du Plessis. Regarding Adesanya, du Plessis wrote on Twitter: “So you’re saying I don’t deserve my title shot yet? Hold my beer, look at this. Izzy reacted quickly as he hoped the South African would raise his hand against Whittaker. “Please win,” Adesanya replied.
What are your thoughts on Adesanya’s victory and its controversial celebration? Do you think he will successfully defend his title against the next contender? Let us know in the comments.