At UFC 276 earlier this month, Adesanya’s fifth title defense headlined International Fight Week in Las Vegas. While he comfortably added the name of powerhouse Jared Cannonier to his unblemished 185-pound record, the performance caught attention for reasons that the champ wouldn’t have wanted it to.
Given the crowd reaction inside the T-Mobile Arena, which saw most rain down boos onto the Octagon for much of the five-round contest, the post-fight consensus wasn’t a surprise. As well as those in attendance, many fans and fellow fighters criticized what they perceived to be a safe approach from the champ.
While the likes of Anthony Smith and Robert Whittaker have suggested that the display wasn’t in line with what had been advertised during fight week, Cejudo went as far as to state that the promotion should stop “pushing” the middleweight titleholder.
“It’s crazy when you come out to freaking, to The Undertaker [theme song], and you didn’t put on a performance, man, on Saturday night. It was lame, dude,” Cejudo said during an episode of The Triple C & Schmo Show. “You gotta start giving, main events are special, dude. If he’s not performing, UFC, stop pushing this dude. He’s a decision-maker… He hypes a lot, and he doesn’t deliver. He talks a lot, and he doesn’t deliver. It’s been like that with him for a minute now.”
Dream Epiphany Gives Cejudo Clarity On Adesanya
Although he’s become known for an outspoken personality when it comes to callouts and comments online, the self-professed “King of Cringe” seemingly doesn’t mind admitting when he’s overstepped, something he believes he did with his comments on Adesanya.
During a recent interview with ESPN MMA’s Marc Raimondi, Cejudo admitted that he’s reflected on his post-UFC 276 remarks — during a dream, of all things.
After apparently seeing an angry Adesanya within his subconscious, the former bantamweight and flyweight kingpin woke up and arrived at the conclusion that he’d wrongly criticized a man who is continuing to win inside the Octagon.
“I had a crazy dream with Stylebender,” Cejudo began. “It was crazy because if Stylebender was my actual friend, and if he’s winning, then I would be like, ‘You know what? It doesn’t matter (how you fight) because you’re winning.’ You know what I’m saying? The dude is still winning. It may be boring, but he’s still winning. I just felt like in my dream, I felt like I was being a little hater.
“I felt like I had a one-on-one conversation with him. It was a trip. And I actually woke up from it, and it was almost like he was super angry with me. He wanted to hit me… I just feel like things happen for a reason. And I just wanna say that I apologize to him, because I think I talked a little bit too much on Stylebender,” Cejudo continued. “I wanna wish him luck and I think he’s gonna have a great fight with [Alex] Pereira… Winners win, and I cannot hate on that.”
That’s quite the turnaround from Cejudo. Perhaps after seeing Adesanya’s firm response to criticism from apologetic Hollywood star Chris Pratt, “Triple C” decided to get ahead of the game with some grovelling of his own.
Was Henry Cejudo right to apologize for his criticism of Israel Adesanya?