Coach Advises Israel Adesanya Against Going All Out Against Sean Strickland

Israel Adesanya had a plan. He wanted to throw everything he had at Sean Strickland in the final round of their UFC 293 title fight. But his coach, Eugene Bareman, had other ideas.

Adesanya was the clear favorite going into this fight. With odds of -650, he was expected to defend his title successfully against Strickland. Strickland, however, was no pushover. He had stepped up on short notice to replace an injured Dricus Du Plessis.

Surprisingly, Strickland knocked Adesanya down in the first round. This set the tone for the rest of the fight, which ended in a dominant decision win for Strickland. This was one of the greatest upsets in UFC title fight history.

Adesanya knew he was losing as the final round approached. He wanted to go out with guns blazing. But Bareman, head coach at City Kickboxing, advised a more tactical approach.

Adesanya recalls, “I never lost hope.” In an interview with Teddy Atlas, he said, “I went back to the corner, Round 3 or Round 4, whatever it was, I was like, ‘Right, we go this round, we must go this round.’”

He even asked Bareman in the fifth round if he should just go all out. The coach’s response? “No, let’s be tactical.” Adesanya wanted to go out on his shield, but he also realized the fight was slipping away from him.

He compared it to a 100-meter race where the opponent was too far ahead. Despite his best efforts, he just couldn’t catch up. But, he never lost hope.

As for what’s next, Adesanya doesn’t have his next fight booked yet. But he recently hinted that he will be back in action sooner than originally expected.

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