Friday, August 19, 2022

Adesanya Shares What “Lit A Fire Under His Ass” Ahead Of Next Defense

UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya has revealed which of his teammates secured a victory that “lit a fire” under him.

This weekend, International Fight Week will be topped off by a blockbuster pay-per-view event set to grace the prestigious surroundings of the T-Mobile Arena. In a showcase of Oceanic talent, New Zealand’s Israel Adesanya will defend his gold in the headliner, while Australia’s Alexander Volkanovski puts his featherweight title on the line in the co-main event.

While the 145-pound king will be running it back with Max Holloway in a trilogy clash, “The Last Stylebender” is preparing for the fresh blood he’s been craving having had consecutive rematches against Marvin Vettori and Jared Cannonier.

Adesanya Credits Volkanovski’s UFC 266 For Added Motivation

Alexander Volkanovski Brian Ortega
Image Credit: UFC.com

With that, Adesanya will be looking to add a new name to his increasingly impressive résumé tonight at UFC 276, and that’s #2-ranked contender Jared Cannonier.

During a recent interview with Yahoo Sports’ Kevin Iole, the champ looked ahead to his latest challenger, as well as the reign of his City Kickboxing teammate Volkanovski, which, as it turns out, has played a big part in motivating Adesanya.

Having consistently recalled being “bored” during his second clash with Vettori last June at UFC 263, Adesanya was seemingly in need of a metaphorical kick up the backside. And according to the Nigerian-New Zealander, that came courtesy of Volkanovski’s memorable victory over Brian Ortega last September at UFC 266.

In particular, Adesanya said that he was inspired by the Aussie’s ability to escape two tight submission holds in the third round and return right back to his dominant game.

“As it was happening, if I can describe the clip, he was in the choke, and then I just — my neck just kinda shrunk straight away, and I started to fight this choke with Alex,” Adesanya recalled. “I had no doubt. I was really impressed. He got out of the guillotine that Ortega’s known for, and also his other signature submission, the triangle choke, ‘T-City.’

“He got outta that and went to work straight away, throwing bombs from heaven. So, yeah, I always have faith in my friends,” Adesanya added. “And I feel like that fight inspired me. That fight really lit a fire under my ass.”

Like Adesanya, Volkanovski has defended his belt once since overcoming “T-City” in 2021, dismantling Chan Sung Jung at April’s UFC 273.

Having been involved in a much-closer contest in his 2022 date with previous opponent Whittaker, “The Last Stylebender” will be looking to return to his own dominant ways against Cannonier tonight at UFC 276.

How do you expect Israel Adesanya’s fifth title defense tonight against Jared Cannonier to play out?

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