Middleweight fighters Chris Weidman and Paulo Costa have criticised Israel Adesanya for his performance against MMA legend Anderson Silva at UFC 234. The “Last Stylebender’ has responded to these criticisms, but another 185-pounder has decided to jump into the fray.
Kelvin Gastelum, who hailed himself as the new king of the 185-lb division after the real champion Robert Whittaker withdrew from their title fight, has commented on the Kiwi’s recent performance against the 43-year old Brazilian.
Appearing on the latest episode of Ariel Helwani’s MMA show, the middleweight title contender labelled the main event bout as “exciting theatrics” and claimed that Adesanya’s performance was not title-worthy.
Adesanya Claps Back
Last weekend, the Kiwi sensation cemented his status as the next big thing in the sport after outlasting MMA legend Anderson Silva in a classic three-round contest at UFC 234 main event in Melbourne, Australia.
It was his sixteenth win overall in his professional career and his fifth straight in UFC, which could potentially land him a crack at the middleweight gold.
But not everyone was impressed with his performance as middleweight fighters Chris Weidman, and Paulo Costa called him “overrated” and a “scrawny clown,” following a convincing victory against “The Spider.”
“Adesanya just a tad bit overrated,” Weidman wrote on Twitter.
“Borranchinha” also took to Twitter to mock Adesanya’s physique and his overall performance.
“This scrawny clown @styleblender would not survive for two rounds with me. He does not convince me definitely! My focus is total on Romero in April,” said Costa.
But just like what he did during the Silva fight, the Last Styelebender had an answer to these jabs.
In a recent interview at The MMA Hour, the undefeated middleweight has responded to these criticisms, calling Weidman “heavily overrated” and Costa a “juice monkey” who are both trying to steal the spotlight.
“Chris Weidman, I’m overrated, but why?”
“Because he beat Silva a little more handily than me? Overrated? Interesting.”
“I can say the same thing about him, heavily.”
“Now, the juice monkey Paula. Paula, a bitch.”
“What did he say? See, the fight between me and Silva was physical chess on the highest level of striking.”
“If you’re not about footwork, man, it was beautiful to watch.”
“Let them talk. They are just trying to get some shine because I’m in the spotlight and I don’t give a fuck about what they’re doing. I’m here living my best life.”
But Weidman and Costa were not the only fighters who were not thrilled by Adesanya’s performance.
Title contender Kelvin Gastelum also claimed that he was not satisfied with how the Kiwi performed as he just saw exciting theatrics – with lots of dodging and showboating – in the main event bout.
“The fight that I saw was a great fight, but it reminded me of The Matrix.”
“They are dodging punches, dodging kicks, dodging bullets and it’s all very exciting theatrics.”
“And that’s what the fight between Israel and Anderson reminded me of.
“It was just exciting theatrics. A lot of showboating.”
Aside from claiming that Israel’s recent showing was not title worthy, Gastelum said he is more than ready to square off with “The Last Stylebender” if the UFC grants him the next title shot, insisting that he now holds the throne at 185.
“He beat a 43-year old Anderson Silva. I’m not sure that’s a claim for a title shot. But if the UFC decides he’s No. 1 contender and gets to skips the five guys in front of him, then so be it.”
“I guess I will fight the No. 1 contender and defend my title.”
“He’s not over-hyped. I mean it is in a way, but he deserves it. He talks well, fights well, but the performance he showed on Saturday was not title-worthy in my opinion.”
“It was all just very exciting theatrics. When I fight, I put guys away. He wasn’t able to put a 43-year old Anderson away. I felt I would’ve done a different sort of job.”
With Robert Whittaker’s return still uncertain, the Nevada-based promotion may potentially book Gastelum and Adesanya for a middleweight fight, where the winner gets the next crack at the 185-lb strap.
(Featured Image Source: Twitter/MMA Junkie and Instagram/Israel Adesanya)