Midnight Mania! Israel Adesanya falls into Anderson Silva’s ‘trap’ against naysayers ‘afraid to engage’
Welcome to Midnight Mania!
Israel Adesanya defended his middleweight title for the fourth time last Saturday (February 12, 2022) at UFC 271 against the highly rated Robert Whittaker, but “Stylebender” continues to come under fire.
After his victory, I wrote about the risks of fighting conservatively and winning by small margins. Some, like top lightweight contender Michael Chandler, had tougher takes, likening Adesanya’s title fight to a practice match, and some viewers even scored the fight entirely for Whittaker.
In Adesanya’s opinion, much of the criticism is due to his opponent’s lack of aggression. As has happened in several Anderson Silva title fights, Adesanya’s opponents realize how damn good he is on the counter, and they refuse to commit from this point on. Silva also received criticism for some of his less eventful title wins, but ultimately that gets forgotten over time.
“I’m starting to fall into this – not a trap, this issue,” Adesanya said on MMA hour (via MMAFighting). “Like, I realize that [Anderson] Silva too. UFC 97, he fought Thales Leites and he beat him, got him back together, but people were like, ‘Oh, that was a boring fight.’ I’m like, no, it wasn’t. Yeah, Thales didn’t really do much later, because he was too scared to commit.
“Later [at UFC 271], we thought Rob was going to press action, because you’re down, his corner says he’s down, but he was walking away. There was a moment where he was drifting and trying to set a trap for me, and I was like, ‘This is my shot,’ and I went back to the center. And then he came to the center and then we continued to fight.
If there is a silver lining for Adesanya, he still had fun against a dangerous opponent in ‘The Reaper’ unlike his previous fight against Marvin Vettori. Adesanya had to stay focused for the 25 minutes as he seemed to respect Whittaker’s skills despite the occasional talk.
“But yes, I am starting to fall into this trap. Same with UFC 112, Abu Dhabi, Demian Maia, and people were like, ‘Oh, [Silva is] this, he is that,” and they forget, they completely forget, and it’s just recency bias. But I had fun. That’s one thing I’m happy about [about]. I had fun, I was present from the first lap until the last bell. My last fight before that, I was not. I got bored, because I was just like, ‘This guy is no threat to me. He poses no threat.
“But this fight, I couldn’t afford to be bored,” Adesanya continued. “I couldn’t afford to have this, because Rob is going to crack you up.”
Next up for Adesanya is likely Jared Cannonier, another striker known for his knockout power. It remains to be seen, however, if Cannonier will continue to push forward after getting a feel for Adesanya’s skill set.
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When you stop taking shitty advice from people who don’t matter, that’s when growth really happens. Cheers – Champ -CSO-#herecomestheshift Trustee pic.twitter.com/VYktmnBudE
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Sleep well fools! More martial arts madness is always on the way.