Those who have watched the UFC for years know that the organization is notoriously no fun when it comes to fighter entrances. There’s no ramp. No video package. If your walkout music is a bit too spicy, there’s even a good chance they’ll nix it. It takes a Conor McGregor level star for the UFC to do something more than dim the lights, and even then it’s on rare occasion.
So many watching were surprised when Israel Adesanya’s walkout for UFC 243 in Melbourne, Australia included a coordinated dance routine complete with a cartwheel spin. Exactly the kind of thing a nervous UFC exec would hate, you’d imagine. And you’d be right. As Israel Adesanya explained after his big second round knockout win (watch the finish here), he wanted to do this before but the UFC wouldn’t let him.
”I tried to do it at the [Anderson] Silva fight in February,” Adesanya explained at the post-fight press conference. “And the UFC was like ‘No, we can’t have that.’ I was like oh, f**k you then. And then this fight, this is my show, I’m headlining this bitch. So I was like no, I’m going to do it my way or no way. Like, who else on this kind of stage, is going to do that before they go and whup some ass.”
As for concerns it might take him out of the proper fight headspace?
“I don’t have to worry about it,” Adesanya said. “I told you I’m a dancer, I’m an entertainer. I don’t have to ‘worry about it.’ We came up with that on Wednesday.”
“I think James Te Huna is the only one who has ever done it, with the Men In Black intro. And Anderson Silva did it in PRIDE with his Michael Jackson s**t. If I could sing, Justin Bieber wouldn’t even have a job. But you don’t want to hear me sing.”
“You gotta realize this is the spectacle, this is a big stadium,” he finished. “I have to give them a show and set the tone. And there’s no one like me. No one.”
Adesanya summed things up in a single tweet after the fight: “When I’m having fun, I’m the best in the world.”
He certainly looked like he was having fun in Melbourne.