Israel Adesanya is all business to make history against Kelvin Gastelum on UFC 236. ‘The Last Stylebender’ seems to be the first New Zealander to claim a UFC world title. Adesanya has different thoughts on such accolades and believes them to be merely byproducts of what he loves to do. He said,
“I don’t focus too much on what’s at stake, because it doesn’t really matter to me, at the end of the day.
“If the belt wasn’t on the line, it’d just be me and Kelvin fighting, and I’m still going to whoop his ass.”
Like any other sporting maestro, the 29-year old wants to showcase his skills on the stage where he can execute his natural, albeit hard-earned abilities against the best sport has to offer.
It’s his inner desire that has made Israel Adesanya one of the UFC’s most active fighters. He has appeared in five bouts in last 14 months, rising from his debut fight to superstardom. Israel Adesanya has raised the bar in the quality of his opponents in every fight he’s fought. The trend will continue this weekend when he locks horns with Mexican-American Gastelum.
“What matters to me is showing off my skillset against a fresh guy who’s a dangerous opponent and at the end, I just get a belt and I’m like, ‘oh that’s right, there’s a belt on the line’.”
Gastelum, who ranks fourth in the division was ready to take on Robert Whittaker at UFC 234 in February. However, the Australian withdrew last minute due to emergency surgery. This lead to Adesanya’s bout against Anderson Silva as a main event. Gastelum watched the bout as an octagon-side spectator.
Since Whittaker had to wait out a lengthy rehab, the UFC came forward with an interim middleweight title featuring Israel Adesanya and Kelvin Gastelum. The winner will take on Whittaker to consolidate two belts.
Adesanya (16-0) has exceptional wrestling skills. He also enjoys his status as one of the division’s most technical boxers, with six KO finishes to his name.
“I’ve seen him fight before. I know how he moves, his tendencies and stuff, but I’m not dwelling on it, because it could change on the night in an instant.
“I’m not worrying about his past work, I look forward to fighting a fresh and new man.”
Adesanya’s exceptional speed and frequency of fights speaks to the training he went through at Auckland’s City Kickboxing. His focus remains on staying primed for battle and fighting his own fight, leaving the details of game-planning to his expert array of coaches, led by head trainer Eugene Bareman.
“We can adjust, even on the fly… call an audible, if I have to. At the moment, I’m really just keeping that same energy and I’m just focusing on me.
“Just another fight, just another day.”