Israel Adesanya has revealed a physical scare he suffered days out from his recent title win.
Weeks on from his impressive return to the middleweight throne, Israel Adesanya has revealed an injury scare that threatened to derail his pursuit of redemption.
Adesanya ultimately achieved his desired revenge in the UFC 287 headliner on April 8, brutally knocking out Alex Pereira in the second round. The finish came five months after the Brazilian had unseated “The Last Stylebender” at Madison Square Garden, a result that marked his third victory over Adesanya across combat sports.
In Miami this month, though, the Nigerian-New Zealander delivered on his promise to ‘settle the score’, and followed it up with one of the most memorable post-fight celebrations and interviews of all time.
But while Adesanya was on cloud nine following the main event, he’s now revealed that the journey there wasn’t exactly smooth.
Adesanya Shows Training Takedown That Caused MCL Tear
During episode one of Ramble, Young Man, Ramble, a new podcast alongside his brother on the Freestylebender YouTube channel, Israel Adesanya recalled and broke down all aspects of the latest period in his career.
And after discussing his defeat at UFC 281 and the aftermath of it, focus turned to Adesanya’s preparation ahead of the highly anticipated rematch with “Poatan.”
“The Last Stylebender” revealed that he suffered a knee injury days out from UFC 287 fight week. He later showed footage of the incident, which saw his right leg bend awkwardly under the weight of a training partner while on the receiving end of a takedown.
“I haven’t even seen that yet. F*ck , that was bad. You don’t even know yet (points at camera). You’re about to find out. Breaking news,” Adesanya said. “Is this the round it happened? … I was tired. I could feel it… Damn. F*ck, it was painful. I was like, ‘It’s okay, it’s okay.’ I didn’t want anyone to freak out.
“I remember the feeling as well. It was like, hot. It felt hot, like a burning feeling. But it was mental toughness, mental toughness and adrenaline (to continue the session),” Israel Adesanya added.
Adesanya’s brother later detailed the injuries the two-time champ suffered, listing a grade 1 MCL tear and sprained ligaments as the damage.
While that setback may draw panic from some fighters as they gear up for a crucial contest inside the Octagon, Adesanya is familiar with such a scenario, and said he used it to enhance his mental fortitude ahead of fight night.
“I’ve been here before. My UFC debut, three weeks out, I did my right ankle,” Adesanya recalled. “Brunson fight, I hurt my knee… It was really bad. Took five days off… Five days off, nothing three days before the biggest fight go my life at MSG. So this was the same thing.
“I was like, this is all part of the story. It’s meant to happen… If you can’t change your circumstance, you change your perspective,” Adesanya continued. “The comeback of getting from there to the cage was already a big win for me… because that was really f*cking bad. After that, I was like, ‘If I can get through that and get to the cage, this fight, I can get through it.’ It added to my confidence, added to my fortitude.”
The latest revelation perhaps makes Adesanya’s triumph at Miami-Dade Arena even more impressive. And having pushed through the injury to return to top spot at 185 pounds, the second reign of “The Last Stylebender” is underway.
See footage of Adesanya’s injury at the 36:00 mark below: