Israel Adesanya had a real yikes moment this weekend when he made a terrible smack talk choice, dropping a 9/11 reference during a UFC 248 press conference in Auckland, New Zealand.
“He’s a guy no one wants to fight,” Adesanya said. “Boogeyman, everyone keeps saying, even Darren Till, ‘I’ll fight anyone except Yoel.’ Like, why? I’ve seen him get rocked. I’ve seen him get stopped. I’ve seen him get bloodied. I’ve seen him cry. I’ll make him cry. He’s human like anyone else, and everyone likes to make this myth about, ‘Oh, he’s steel, like kicking steel,’ or you hit him and he doesn’t fall. I’ll touch him enough times. I’ll touch him enough times and eventually he’ll crumble like the Twin Towers.”
The line went over pretty awkward in front of his hometown crowd and it didn’t take long for the insensitive diss to travel around the world where people felt various levels of anger regarding it. One of Adesanya’s rivals, Paulo Costa, reacted by declaring “You are a disgusting piece of s**t. How dare you make a joke disrespecting the thousands who died and the heroic firefighters and police. I will really kill you, dirty kiwi.”
Adesanya— Paulo Costa ( Borrachinha ) (@BorrachinhaMMA) February 22, 2020
You are a disgusting piece of shit. How dare you make a joke disrespecting the thousands who died and the heroic firefighters and police.I will really kill you, dirty kiwi pic.twitter.com/1vtaqDbozx
He’s not wrong about it being disrespectful, but it still comes across as a bit self serving given their beef. The reaction that really seemed to make Israel realize he crossed a line? One of the comments in an Instagram post from a New York City fan. Adesanya featured it in an apology message on his own social media.
”As a native NY’er witnessed that day first hand, I don’t care if it was 119 years ago,” the Instagram user wrote. “Some shit you just don’t joke about.”
Well, Izzy addressed the 9/11 comment. Thoughts? pic.twitter.com/GAA0xvecqs— MS (@UFC_Obsessed) February 23, 2020
”BUT ... I’m not one of those outrage cancel jerkoffs,” the comment added. “Izzy is still my guy, he just went too far with that comment and I understand why it turns some people off. People say s**t without thinking, doesn’t make em a bad person. I’m sure if he could he’d go back and not say it again.”
”The comment in the last story sums up how I feel about this situation,” Adesanya wrote. “I never made a joke about people dying or made light of the tragic event that was 9/11. I was simply rambling and my brain worked faster than my mouth in a moment to chose the wrong euphemism. You speak on the mic enough times and you’re bound to miss the mark with some bars. I did on this one and for that I’m sorry. I’ll be more careful in the future with my words.”
What do you think of Adesanya’s apology, Maniacs?