Israel Adesanya habours ‘no regrets’ over failed bid at UFC history

Israel Adesanya habours ‘no regrets’ over failed bid at UFC history

Israel Adesanya, on Sunday, March 7, insists he has no regrets over his failed bid to become a two-weight world champion as the middleweight king said he will return to the 205-pound ranks for another shot at UFC gold after defeat to Jan Blachowicz.

Adesanya, 31, entered UFC 259 on the cusp of becoming just the fifth UFC star to hold titles in simultaneous weight classes, with the Last Stylebender favourite to see off light heavyweight champion Blachowicz.

But the Polish veteran demonstrated the huge difference in size between middleweight and light heavyweight; combatting Adesanya’s striking with the good defence before controlling him on the ground to see out a points victory.

The defeat is Adesanya’s first professional MMA career loss and presents a devastating blow to plans for a super-fight between the Nigerian-New Zealander and the all-conquering Jon Jones later this year.

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But the 31-year-old has insisted that his desire to be ‘great’ means he has no regrets over his failed attempt to capture a second UFC belt.

‘I couldn’t sleep last night, instead of doing wine I was doing lines,’ he joked to ESPN, in reference to former rival Paulo Costa’s excuse for defeat to Adesanya at UFC 253.

‘Didn’t go exactly the way I wanted it to go, but you know, dare to be great. The critics are the ones on the sidelines but I’m the one putting it on the line.

‘That was just my legs being fatigued,’ Adesanya explained of Blachowicz’s takedown success in the later rounds. ‘I don’t know what from; but I knew what to do and I was trying to do it.

‘The size did play a factor but my technique could’ve been a lot finer. He made me look like I had a butter guard. It was like a bad day in the gym; but it was in the office tonight.

‘It’s not a one-off, I definitely will be back. Dare to be great.’

Meanwhile, Eugene Bareman, Adesanya’s coach, has reiterated his charge’s desire to return to 205 pounds once he has ‘cleared out’ the middleweight division.

‘It doesn’t end anything for Israel,’ Bareman told ESPN. ‘Israel is the type of guy who wants to do things that no one else has done.

‘So it ends this chapter, for now, I am sure he is keen to go back to middleweight and look after his division there; but I’m sure at some stage just the way Israel is; and how this will eat away and be a chip on his shoulder I’m sure he will want to come back and have another crack at this.

‘He is super motivated, one of the first things he said to me “let’s go back to middleweight; clear that out and reassess what happens” so he is keen.’

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