Georges St-Pierre offered words of wisdom to reigning UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya earlier this week ahead of his 185-pound title fight against Alex Pereira at UFC 281 next month.
Adesanya, who suffered a knockout loss to Pereira under the GLORY kickboxing banner back in 2017, is entering one of the most important fights of his professional career. Despite producing a 12-0 record in the UFC’s middleweight division and defending his title five-straight times, “Last Stylebender” still has a lot of criticism to deal with from fighters and media alike.
The UFC middleweight king has handled himself like a true champion over the years, but there’s always room for improvement. This applies to Adesanya’s actions inside of the ring as well as his mentality outside of it. From dealing with the pressures of being champion to the ridicule he might read on social media, “Last Stylebender” has a lot on his plate.
Luckily, St-Pierre was more than willing to sit down with Adesanya to discuss the ins and outs of being a successful UFC champion. GSP is one of the most impactful fighters in MMA history and a true UFC legend so he’s the perfect person to shed some light on Adesanya’s practices atop the 185-pound weight class.
“I think that’s one of the reasons why you get so much touched with these criticisms,” St-Pierre told Adesanya (shown above courtesy of Adesanya’s YouTube channel). “It’s good that you use it as a fuel to motivate you because it gives you more energy to prove them wrong. But don’t pass the line of doing this. Balance is everything. That’s the thing.”
“It’s heavy, the crown, my friend,” he continued. “And it’s only the beginning for you [laughs]. Heavy, the crown. I’m honest with you, I like you, I’m telling you the truth, man. Nobody can understand, but it gets worse. And it add more weight to your shoulder every fight. Every fight is bigger and bigger, the criticisms are worse and the expectations are more and more.”
Adesanya is currently scheduled to fight Pereira at UFC 281 on Nov. 12 from inside Madison Square Garden in New York City. It is expected to be one of the biggest fight cards of the year and a big opportunity for “Last Stylebender” to prove his remaining doubters wrong and cement his UFC legacy for good.
“Keep that fire, man,” said St-Pierre. “Because this adventure can sometimes change you from the inside out and changes your brain, your center of gravity, and you don’t want that to change, especially not right now.”
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 281 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard (on ESPNEWS/ESPN+) at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.
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