Israel Adesanya Shifts Focus to Quality Over Quantity for UFC Comeback

"I Know I'm on the Backend of My Career"

Israel Adesanya, famed for his sharp and dynamic style in the octagon, is reevaluating his approach as he plans his UFC comeback. With a professional MMA record of 24 wins and 3 losses (24-3 MMA, 13-3 UFC), Adesanya lost his middleweight title to Sean Strickland last September at UFC 293, in what was a shocking turn of events. Adesanya was knocked down early in the fight and never fully regained his footing.

In an interview with renowned boxing coach Teddy Atlas, Adesanya opened up about the loss and how his head coach, Eugene Bareman, had to reel him in. “There was a moment in the fight, at the end of a round, when I looked down and saw droplets of blood,” Adesanya shared on his YouTube channel.

“I thought, ‘Damn, he got me with that jab.’ His jab was like a hammer… I wasn’t quite there. I never lost hope though. Went back to my corner thinking, ‘We’ve got to take this round.’ When I asked Eugene in the fifth, ‘Is this the last round?’ and he said ‘Yes’, I thought, ‘Should I just go all out?’ But Eugene was like, ‘No, let’s be tactical.'”

After the match, Adesanya, 34, announced he would be taking an extended break, but not as long as some might think. When he returns, his approach to fighting will be different.

“That’s why I’m taking this time off,” Adesanya said. “People were talking like I’m retiring or taking a five-year break. Chill, it’s not like that. My time off is different from most people’s. Some take two years off. I’m not doing that. I had four fights in 14 months. I know I’m on the backend of my career. I know I’ll miss this when I’m done, so I was trying to do as much as I can. Then I realized it’s not about quantity, it’s about quality.”

Adesanya emphasizes that he’s still going to enjoy his time in the sport. “I’m definitely going to fight in 2024. I don’t know when, but when I do, it’s going to be about quality, not quantity.”

So, with a newly adjusted focus on quality over quantity, Adesanya looks forward to the next chapter of his career. The exact date of his next fight remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: fans can expect a more calculated and focused Adesanya than ever before. His journey in the UFC continues to evolve, and as he enters what he considers the later stages of his career, each fight promises to showcase the skill and strategic thinking that have made him a standout in the middleweight division.

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MMAnytt was founded in 2008.