Adesanya has ruled over the 185lbers for over two years. Since dominantly dethroning Robert Whittaker at UFC 243 in Melbourne, “The Last Stylebender” has fought off the challenges of Yoel Romero, Paulo Costa, and Marvin Vettori.
While he ultimately failed in the pursuit of two-division glory, recording his first professional MMA loss at the hands of then-light heavyweight titleholder Jan Blachowicz last March, Adesanya’s middleweight record has remained unblemished.
The next man to try and change that will be former champ Whittaker. Having bounced back from his title defeat to Adesanya in style with impressive victories over Darren Till, Jared Cannonier, and Kelvin Gastelum, “The Reaper” will attempt to exact revenge on the Nigerian-New Zealander and reclaim the throne this weekend in the UFC 271 main event.
Bareman: Adesanya Is “One Hundred Percent” Under-Promoted
Adesanya’s opening title defense of 2022 will come just three weeks after his African counterpart Francis Ngannou pushed through a heap of adversity to keep hold of his title at UFC 270. One of the main narratives heading into the opening pay-per-view of the year was a perceived under-appreciation and disrespect towards “The Predator.”
Ngannou’s manager, Marquel Martin, claimed that, rather than money, his client’s dispute with the UFC derived from the lackluster promotion of the heavyweight champ, among other things.
That sentiment has now been shared by the coach of Adesanya.
During a recent appearance on Submission Radio, Bareman, who also coaches the likes of Dan Hooker, Kai Kara-France, and Brad Riddell, was asked whether he thought the UFC’s promotion of the 185-pound king was lacking.
While the 42-year-old New Zealander was clearly hesitant to criticize the organization, he did suggest the sentiment was the “correct observation.”
“You are correct; a hundred percent correct. But I’m not, at the moment, willing to talk about this particular subject,” said Bareman. “At the moment, I’m sorry, boys. I can’t. It’s one hundred percent the correct observation. The correct observation – He’s not being nowhere near pushed the way he should. But there’s stuff that I can’t talk about regarding that. So, I’ll just leave it as a no comment. But your assumption is correct. They can (promote Adesanya more). At least I agree with that.” (h/t Sportskeeda)
With Ngannou standing firm on his demands and potentially leaving the UFC to explore free agency at the end of the year, it’s hard not to wonder whether Bareman’s comments are a sentiment shared by Adesanya himself, who is also likely to fight out his deal this year.
Should he do so, perhaps Ariel Helwani’s question surrounding a possible mass exodus of UFC stars in 2022 will begin to come to fruition.
For the moment, though, Adesanya’s focus will be on defending his title for the fourth time and once more establishing his dominance over Whittaker.
Do you agree with Eugene Bareman? Should Israel Adesanya be promoted more by the UFC?