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Illegal? Famous MMA referee claims Israel Adesanya’s fingernails too long at UFC 293 - ‘Those need to be cut short’

UFC 293: Adesanya v Strickland Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Israel Adesanya may have broken the rules for his middleweight title fight against Sean Strickland earlier this month at UFC 293, as “Last Stylebender” fought with some irregular-sized fingernails.

This is according to famed MMA referee, John McCarthy, who took to social media after Adesanya’s shocking decision loss to Strickland in the main event. A fight fan captured a photo of Adesanya’s painted fingernails from the fight and asked McCarthy what he thought.

Surprisingly, McCarthy revealed that Adesanya’s fingernails would have been too long for his liking. If “Big John” was calling UFC 293’s main event title fight he would have forced “Last Stylebender” to trim his nails down. We’re guessing referee Marc Goddard — who called Adesanya vs. Strickland — didn’t care all that much (or just didn’t notice).

“Nope, not while I was refereeing,” wrote McCarthy. “Those need to be cut short.”

Maybe this is why Adesanya wasn’t able to land a clean punch on Strickland.

Adesanya, who was coming off a spectacular knockout finish over Alex Pereira at UFC 287 to reclaim his middleweight title, just didn’t look like himself at UFC 293. “Last Stylebender” seemed slow, uninterested, and incapable of doing any damage against the shell-style defense of Strickland. It was an utter collapse of legendary proportion.

Luckily, UFC is entertaining the idea of an immediate rematch. Adesanya could get his chance to win his belt back (again), but he may have to trim his nails down next time around.

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