It only took Israel Adesanya four fights to introduce himself as the future of the Ultimate Fighting Championship…
The Nigerian mixed martial artist continued to make jaws drop after he demolished the sixth-ranked middleweight contender Derek Brunson in the main card opener of UFC 230, his fourth consecutive win following his highly-anticipated debut last February.
And for his most recent victory, Adesanya considered it as just another day in the office.
— MSG (@TheGarden) November 4, 2018
‘The Last Stylebender’ turned to a deadly mix of offense and defense to overcome the first acid test of his career against a more-experienced and an elite-wrestler, Brunson.
The 29-year old fighter was in full control early in the onset and never looked back as he delivered the finishing blows in the same frame, to earn the 13th knockout of his career and the Performance of the Night honours.
Adesanya denied every single attempt of his opponent to bring him to the ground with good defensive stops before unleashing a flurry of strikes and a knee to the chin. The wrestling specialist tried to reestablish his rhythm but Adesanya delivered another barrage of knees to drop him on the mat and drilled some power punches to come out with the victory.
So far, it was the biggest win in his young career and a major statement for the entire middleweight division that he is not just a prospect but a legit title contender.
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) November 4, 2018
The rising Kiwi star later revealed that he was not 100% in condition coming into his showdown with Brunson. Despite a knee injury, Adesanya managed to handle his veteran opponent with ease, which speaks a lot about his talent.
“I was limping. My knee was so inflamed. Within three days my knee was getting better, then I had a cortisone shot a few days later – I checked with USADA, the golden snitch and they said ‘yeah, it’s cool.”
While many MMA fans considered his impressive performance as over the top, Adesanya believed that it only deserved a grade of B minus. He then described this fight with ‘The Law’ as a walk in the park.
“I expected him to come in like he did all clumsy against Robert Whittaker but he started patient. I started at level two and he was still loading. That was about a B- I would give myself, but it’s all talk about a fighter. They said, ‘Man, he ain’t got any wrestling.’ But this turned into easy work. This was light work, actually. It was a walk in the park or a walk in the Garden.”
Watch the full interview in the video below:
“I’m ready for the top five, top five. I’m going to sit back and watch the rest of the fights in the middleweight tournament [on Saturday] and then I will applaud slowly.”
The higher-ranked middleweight fighters have just been warned!
(Featured Image Source: ESPN/YouTube and UFC/Twitter)