Friday, August 12, 2022

Alexander Volkanovski Defends Adesanya Against UFC 276 Performance Critics

UFC Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski has come to the defense of teammate and middleweight champion Israel Adesanya.

Adesanya has faced a lot of criticism from his performance at UFC 276. “Stylebender” put his middleweight title up for grabs against knockout artist and challenger Jared Cannonier. Adesanya picked up the win via lopsided unanimous decision.

However, many complained after the contest that the fight wasn’t as eventful as they’d hoped it would be. Although it takes two to tango, Adesanya seems to be getting most of the flak for the fight’s lack of eventfulness.

Alexander Volkanovski Defends Adesanya

Adesanya friend and teammate, as well as reigning UFC featherweight champion, Alexander Volkanovski, recently commented on the matter during an interview on “The MMA Hour.”

Volkanovski pointed out that an opponent such as Cannonier who had the “puncher’s chance” also needed to take risks inside the Octagon. The burden of risk taking shouldn’t all fall on Adesanya, the champion.

“The thing is, people need to understand: When someone only has a puncher’s chance and that is all they’re looking for, come on man, why does the champion have to take all the risks?

“Why does he have to come forward when he knows someone’s out waiting for a big shot? The challenger, obviously, if things aren’t going their way — and I’m not throwing shit at Cannonier — I think they need to make something happen.”

Israel Adesanya
Israel Adesanya, Photo Credit: Getty Images

Adesanya does some of his best work inside the Octagon from the outside of his opponent’s range. Volkanovski said if anyone hopes to have some amount of success against “Stylebender,” they need to press the action. Had Cannonier done that, or any of Adesanya’s opponent’s for that matter, the conversation would have been much different.

“Everyone knows that they need to try to get in on Izzy. Sitting back and letting Izzy just piece you up on the outside, I believe that’s totally on the challenger. Put it this way, if he had done that little bit more, it would have been a completely different fight, and everyone would have been talking about how great of a knockout (he had). People quickly forget.”

Volkanovski himself defended his title at UFC 276. He ran it back for a third time with Max Holloway, this time shutting the Hawaiian challenger out in dominant fashion. Now, with four successful title defenses under his belt, it will be interesting to see what the UFC books next for “The Great.”

What do you make of Alexander Volkanovski and his comments about Adesanya’s performance at UFC 276?

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