Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Watch: Israel Adesanya Puts Stephen A. Smith In His Place During Faceoff

UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya had no choice but to remind Stephen A. Smith who the real champion is during a playful faceoff.

At UFC 281, Israel Adesanya will look to defend his middleweight championship for the sixth time when he takes on his former kickboxing rival Alex Pereira in Madison Square Garden. One person who knows a thing or two about MSG is diehard New York Knicks fan Stephen A. Smith, who came face to face with the champion on the set of Smith’s ESPN First Take program.

After stopping by to promote the UFC 281 event that takes place this Saturday, Adesanya did something that his fans would never anticipate him doing. He willingly relinquished the title to another man.

That man was not Alex Pereira, nor Robert Whittaker, nor did Paulo Costa’s secret juice hypnotize Adesanya to relinquish the strap to him. Instead, Adesanya allowed Stephen A. Smith to carry his title as part of an impromptu faceoff between the two.

This did not last long, however, with Adesanya snapping out of his trance and snatching his belt back, effectively winning the staring contest and sonning Stephen A. on the set of his own program.

Peep it out below.

Israel Adesanya Promotes UFC 281 On ESPN First Take

After Adesanya snatched back the title, all Stephen A. could do is break out in laughter as the two shook hands at the end of the clip.

It may be all fun in games now for “The Last Stylebender,” but Alex Pereira will have every intention of legitimately taking the middleweight championship from Adesanya’s possession on Saturday night. And when the two come together for their final faceoff tomorrow night during the ceremonial weigh-ins, fans can expect anything but smiles and handshakes from the two rivals.

UFC 281 takes place live, Saturday, November 12, from Madison Square Garden in New York City. You can check out Adesanya’s appearance on ESPN First Take to promote the event down below.