Welcome to Midnight Mania!
Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight king and current color commentator, Michael Bisping, has some unique insight in UFC 293’s main event, which saw Sean Strickland shock Israel Adesanya and steal his throne via five-round unanimous decision (watch highlights). Bisping has been watching Adesanya’s UFC career since its genesis, and he also has experience sparring with Strickland over the years. He’s been keeping an eye on his former division, to say the least.
According to “The Count,” attitude may have been a considerable part of Adesanya and his team’s issues. Even after getting knocked down, Bisping didn’t notice any shift in urgency or seriousness from the Adesanya or his City Kickboxing corner.
“There was certainly an air of arrogance in the corner of Israel Adesanya and from Izzy himself,” Bisping said on TNT Sports’ Fight Week (via MMA Junkie). “Even when he was dropped in the first round and very, very close to being finished, he had kind of a smug look on his face like, ‘God bless this guy, he landed a shot. Overhand? OK, no worries.’ No concern, no look of stress, no worry, no realization that he’s in there with a real threat.”
Cage position was also an important part of the narrative. Bisping believes Adesanya struggled so much because he was too intent on counter fighting and unwilling to stand his ground to throw volume. As a result, he wound up on the fence, where he absorbed most of his heaviest shots.
“The reason he almost got the finish in Round 1 was because Izzy was moving backward, and Izzy relies on a lot of fast footwork,” Bisping said. “When you’ve backed up all the way to the fence, there’s no further to move back and you can’t even lean back as far and that was his own demise.
“That’s because he was backing up the whole time. You don’t win fights by backing up. Granted, we have seen masterclasses. … But you’ve got to have some forward pressure, as well, and dancing away all night, backfooting and backtracking, and not throwing very much is no surprise. That is not the recipe to win a fight.”
The future of the Middleweight division is uncertain. UFC President Dana White wants a rematch, but Dricus Du Plessis also has a title shot secured … or at least it’s supposed to be locked down. Furthermore, Paulo Costa vs. Khamzat Chimaev is a high-profile clash that carries serious title implications too!
Anything could happen at 185 lbs. in the next six months.
Eugene Bareman’s comments have annoyed me in the past, but the amount of vitriol he’s received after Israel Adesanya’s title loss is insane. He’s helped how many athletes from Oceania achieve massive success? Fans will turn on you quick!
He’s absolutely elite. What he’s help build in a short amount of time, with limited resources due to proximity, is nothing short of miraculous. Honestly, had we lost that picture could’ve easily been mine. ❤️
— Eric Nicksick (@Eric_XCMMA) September 11, 2023
This Michael Chandler x Gladiator edit is pretty cool.
Putting Terrance McKinney in the cage guarantees a finish, one way or another.
Khamzat Chimaev offers his thoughts on the conflict between Israel and Palestine. Surely, nothing could go wrong!
Bradley Martin is surely in on the bit, he knows what happens when he messes with martial artists, let alone professionals.
Tow years and one day ago, Anderson Silva knocked out Tito Ortiz. I have no other context for this bizarre tweet.
9-11-21 Never Forget!
— Tito Ortiz (with the blue check) (@titoortiz) September 12, 2023
Tai Tuivasa took some nasty shots from Alexander Volkov. “Bam Bam” could use some time off!
Slips, rips, and KO clips
A back-and-forth banger, no two ways around it.
Craig Jones is routinely doing cool and innovative things on the mats.
It’s not fair to compare different sports, but I do think it’s pretty undeniable that Adesanya has lost a lot of his unpredictability in recent years. That happens as fighters age, grow cautious, and refine their approach, such as late career Jose Aldo compared to the WEC wild man days.
Somehow, I predict this flood will be less whimsical when the smell of rotten fruit sets in after a few days.
Midnight Music: I have been on a major Death Grips kick for the last week or so. For my money, the best experimental group of the 2010s, and Sactown’s finest contribution to the scene.
Not for everyone.
Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.