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Israel Adesanya says Kelvin Gastelum was toughest opponent: “He took me to a dark place”

Video interview with Israel Adesanya – @adamglyn

Fresh off a UFC middleweight title defense over former champion Robert Whittaker in the main event of UFC 271 over the weekend, champion Israel Adesanya traveled to New York City where he was met by former TMZ reporter Adam Glyn.

In the above video, Adesanya talks about who he wants to face next, who is toughest opponent was, and if he wants to go into acting.

“Out of all the guys you’ve fought right now, who has been your hardest competition?” Glyn asked Adesanya as they walked through the streets of the Big Apple late at night.

“Gastelum,” the champion responded. “He pushed me to the limit and I, that lad, he broke.”

Glyn then asked, “hardest hitter or…?”

Adesanya responds, “Nah, he just took me took a dark place and I love the darkness. I was born in it.”

The champion was referring back to his April 2019 UFC middleweight interim title bout against Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 236. The two men fought to see who would fill the championship void while then champion Whittaker was on the mend.

Adesanya and Gastelum would both be pushed to the brink, but it would be the “The Last Stylebender” who came out on top by way of unanimous decision.

Adesanya would then defeat Whittaker for the official title at UFC 243 in October 2019, followed by victories over Yoel Romero, Paulo Costa, and Marvin Vettori.

Complete UFC 271 results

Main Card (10:00 p.m. ET on ESPN+ pay-per-view)

Israel Adesanya defeated Robert Whittaker via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 49-46) – UFC middleweight title

Tai Tuivasa defeated Derrick Lewis via KO – Round 2, 1:40

Jared Cannonier defeated Derek Brunson via TKO – Round 2, 4:29

Renato Moicano defeated Alexander Hernandez via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 1:23

Bobby Green defeated Nasrat Haqparast via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Preliminary Card (8:00 p.m. ET on ESPN/ESPN+)

Andrei Arlovski defeated Jared Vanderaa via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Casey O’Neill defeated Roxanne Modafferi via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Kyler Phillips defeated Marcelo Rojo via submission (armbar) – Round 3, 1:48

Carlos Ulberg defeated Fabio Cherant via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Early Prelims (6:00 p.m. ET on ESPN+/UFC Fight Pass)

Ronnie Lawrence defeated Mana Martinez via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-28)

Jacob Malkoun defeated AJ Dobson via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Douglas Silva de Andrade vs. Sergey Morozov

Jeremiah Wells defeated Blood Diamond via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 4:38

Maxim Grishin defeated William Knight via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

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