Just like Anthony Joshua, Is Israel Adesanya truly back on up?

It was over before it even began.

On Sunday morning, Israel Adesanya reclaimed his UFC 281 title from Alex Pereira in two rounds, glamsquad reports 

 

READ ALSO: Alex Pereira becomes UFC middleweight champion after stunning Israel Adesanya with fifth-round knockout

 

The ‘in Stylebender’ was knocked out in the fifth round by Pereira inside Madison Square Garden in November.

“I’ll be back, it’s not over yet,” Adesanya said later.

It only took one powerful punch from the Nigerian-born fighter.

“While we can consider his performance routine getting into gear, I’d like to believe he reevaluated his attitude toward the fight.”

“While we can’t take the ego out of the sport, which fuels confidence in the athlete, I think Izzy went in with some level headedness, which made an equally big difference,” Telema Davies, Strategy Consultant and Coordinating Secretary, Sport Nigeria LTD/GTE, tells newsmen

During the four months that ‘Izzy’ took off to train for the battle, he appeared to fall off the radar, particularly among Nigerians.

The hype that had enveloped him, Kamaru Usman, and Anthony Joshua had vanished like vapor.

“It’s difficult to say there’s apathy among Nigerians unless supported by research data,” Davies added.

“We love to win,” he added. It’s a human consideration, not a Nigerian one. Everyone despises losing.

“However, it’s a common occurrence in human relations.” Once we can let go of the short-term approach, we’ll have a better understanding for process development and be able to let go of the win-at-all-costs mentality.

“However, interest in MMA in general (not just UFC, One Championship, and so on) among Nigerians is still growing.”

“Despite the fact that we have world-class exports in the sport, we are not a Class A, B, or C market; there is an opportunity to leverage the star power of Izzy and Kamaru to grow the sport and participation.”

Adesanya must now maintain his upward trajectory in order to leave a lasting legacy in MMA.

What comes next for him?

“I’m aware he has a fight in November, but the opponent has yet to be determined.”

“What should his next move be until November?” While we cannot claim ‘ownership’ of Izzy’s rise to fame and stardom, we can, as I previously stated, leverage the opportunity to increase interest in the sport through infrastructure and facility development, as well as capacity development, which would increase participation and introduce Nigeria as a destination market,” Davies added.

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