The furor over Israel Adesanya’s post-fight antics at UFC 253 continue.
If you were too hyped up by his impressive second round technical knockout victory over Paulo Costa to notice (watch highlights), let us fill you in: Adesanya humped Costa’s downed body like a dog before making a reference to his manhood as the only black belt he needed. He followed this up by going up to Team “Borrachinha” and pretending to ejaculate on them. Watch it all here, just be prepared for your monocle to pop out.
It was not exactly in the honorable spirit of martial arts, some feel.
That includes UFC fighter-turned commentator, Dan Hardy, who called it like it is before explaining (although not excusing) it.
“It was crass, is the truth,” Hardy told a scrum of reporters on “Fight Island” (via MMA Fighting). “It was unnecessary and it was crass. It’s not good for the sport to be seeing those things, but at the same time we see a lot of the superstars they stand out, they create headlines because of the thing that they do. [Adesanya] was urinating on the octagon in his UFC debut. We shouldn’t be surprised by these things.
“There’s a lot of animosity between these guys, and we do act out when we’re in these scenarios,” he continued. “When your adrenaline’s up. You’ve just won a fight. You’ve got all this energy. How many times do you see people doing terrible dances after fights and stuff? I’ve done it myself.”
“You don’t know what you’re saying in interviews because your adrenaline’s going, you’re just ‘blah!!!’ It happens. Sometimes it’s difficult to keep control of yourselves in those circumstances, but that’s when you see someone like that and you kind of think, well, it wasn’t in the spirit of martial arts and really that’s what we want to be seeing, to represent the sport as a whole. But ultimately, these people have to be their individual selves.”
Glad to hear “The Outlaw” hasn’t forgotten his wild past where he very much represented that edgy punk spirit that so many stodgy folk say is anathema to martial arts. Back when he was the young buck climbing the ranks people felt like his mohawk and trash talk was beyond the pale, too. Of course, maybe they had a point? Are we just continuing to move the standards lower and lower as time goes on until straight up assaults outside the cage are just more fodder for pre-fight hype packages?
Questions for the philosophers, I suppose.
Back on less metaphysical grounds, Hardy also gave his thoughts on Costa’s performance — or lack thereof — putting it less on the Brazilian beefcake and more on the reality of facing an opponent like Adesanya.
“It must be very much like fighting Khabib,” Hardy said. “You can’t really understand what his wrestling’s like until he’s got his hands on you. I think when you stand in front of Israel Adesanya, you can’t really understand what that’s like until it’s there. And when it’s there, it’s too late.”
Maybe now that Costa has felt the heat, it’ll help him for his “immediate rematch.”