Over the past couple of months, UFC middleweight newcomer Israel Adesanya has made plenty waves.
Into his first three bouts in the division, Adesanya has left an impression on fans that will make him a bonafide superstar not to mention a future world champion.
With incredible size and length, combined with speed an mobility, he’s a mismatch for almost any opponent.
That being said, with 3 impressive victories to his credit, albeit, against average competition, the Nigerian has yet to be tested.
And if the call out via video tweet from a fellow middleweight last month has anything to do with it, he will be.
But this isn’t just some tomato can, or unranked middleweight challenging the 29 year old prospect, it’s the #6 UFC Middleweight Derek Brunson.
The feud all started last month when Brunson initially called Adesanya out the first time to fight him in his resident home country of New Zealand via a tweet , in which Adesanya responded to, but a fight was never made.
A couple of weeks later, Brunson attempted to poke the bear once again, this time posting the aforementioned video tweet, insulting Adesanya’s fighting style and nickname, referring to him as “The Last Pretender”.
Upon seeing Brunson’s video, the nigerian finally responded, not only posting insults of his own at Brunson, as well as an edited video tweet with gifs expressing his disdain for the north carolinian calling him out.
The UFC eventually took notice of the blood bad boiling over between the two, and will now officially put them against each other at UFC 230 this November.
The rivals made their 1st live appearance with each other this past weekend at the UFC 25th press conference where they engaged in the traditional face-off while exchanging some heated words.
Speaking with the MMA Hour yesterday, Adesanya further continued his verbal bashing of Brunson, insinuating Brunson’s afraid of him, and what awaits when they meet on November 3rd.
“I think the guy is already scared, man,” Adesanya told Luke Thomas on the latest episode of The MMA Hour.
“You see how he carried himself on the stage? It’s funny, he didn’t have that same energy about 30 minutes ago at the hotel. He’s a certain kind of guy because the people around him want him to flex and sell the fight. He’s coming out with all this stuff like, ‘Oh you’re too skinny bro’, and I’m like, ‘Bro, this isn’t CrossFit’.
“I’m not even skinny, he’s just fat. Did you see his body up on that stage? He had a little soufflé around his waist. I’m already in his head, and he’s in his feelings like Drake.”
Adesanya also expressed that the video tweet posted of Brunson calling him out was not legitimate, instead he claims the UFC persuaded Brunson to challenge him.
“He didn’t call me out, the UFC made him call me out. He wouldn’t even dare say my name. I feel like if he turned down a fight with me it would make him look bad. They forced him to take that fight because he wouldn’t dare call me out by himself. He was trying to make it out like, ‘Sign the contract’, but I was like, ‘Bro, I signed the contract two days ago, what are you on about?’ This ain’t the WWE and I keep up that image, but I think he’s in over his head on this one. He’s never been in a fight like this. I know he’s fought Anderson Silva, but he hasn’t been in a fight with anyone like me, so I think it’s a new territory for him.”
When being asked about what he needs to prepare for in facing Brunson, the Nigerian striker sarcastically pointed out “bum rushing” and “falling on takedowns”.
“Him falling into a takedown, that’s about it. Bum rushing and falling into a takedown. You’ve seen my last fight and my first fight in the UFC. You’ve seen my last fight, how many times did that guy try to take me down? They weren’t bad grapplers,” he said.
“Brunson, I don’t know what his credentials are as a wrestler or whether he’s an All-American division one or whatever, but regardless, my takedown defense is not something he wants to mess with. I don’t see anything else that he brings to the table.
“Come on, look at this guy’s resume, look at his highlights. This guy got knocked out by ‘Jacare’ twice. ‘Jacare’ has got some of the stiffest stand-up there is; even though he hits hard he’s just stiff in the way that he moves. How the f*ck is Brunson going to hit me with some overhand right coming all the way from six o’clock?”
Obviously the 29 year old unbeaten is extremely critical of his veteran adversary, from his social media trolling to his fight skills.
Though he hasn’t put any pressure himself to potentially finish Derek Brunson, at the same time he is confident the 34 year old won’t last in the 1st round.
I want to punish him, but I don’t think he’s going to last a round because of the way he fights. Even at that press conference, if not for Dana White, he would’ve ran straight into what ever I wanted. I had already established my distance with hand on his chest and he’s already running forward with his chin up. That already tells me how he’s going to approach this fight.”