Israel Adesanya has gone 18-0 since venturing into mixed martial arts from kickboxing. In that short amount of time, he became the interim UFC middleweight champion and eventually the undisputed middleweight champion when he defeated Robert Whittaker at UFC 243. Just like any athlete in the MMA space that rises to greatness, there are those that will ask them about the past if they suffered any devastating loss.
By now, the highlight from Glory of Heroes 7 where Adesanya suffered a knockout loss to Alex Pereira in 2017 has circulated the web for fans to see. However, as many martial artists do, Adesanya took the loss as a lesson and used it to make his way to where he is now as a mixed martial artist.
Speaking with Yahoo Sports, Adesanya reflected on the loss and how it helped him make the move to MMA.
“It’s just part of the game,” Adesanya said of the loss. “My coach told me, ‘if you fight long enough everyone loses eventually,’ and losses aren’t always just there to put you down you learn from them.”
Sometimes losses like that can bring someone down but Adesanya says having faith and believing in himself helped him move past the loss. “I never let my belief get shaken by a little stumble like that,” said Adesanya and added, “I always make sure I rise above the occasion.”
The occasion that lies ahead is UFC 248 where he faces Yoel Romero. Adesanya knows Romero seems to have a reputation that makes it difficult for his challenger to find opponents but Adesanya is happy to oblige Romero with a shot at the title.
Adesanya said, “He’s a guy that no one wants to fight so that makes me want to fight him even more.”
UFC 248 will be Adesanya’s first fight as the undisputed champion and Romero’s second time fighting for the middleweight crown if you include his interim title bout with Whittaker back in July 2017.
Will Adesanya be able to keep the undefeated streak and the title?