Israel Adesanya is taking his first career loss in stride.
The UFC middleweight champion dropped a unanimous decision to Jan Blachowicz in a light heavyweight title fight at UFC 259 on Saturday, marking the first time he's fallen short as a professional mixed martial artist.
"It sucks losing, don't get me wrong, but it's not like the end of the world," Adesanya said at the postfight press conference. "I've lost before in the past ... but I remain undefeated."
"I've lost in kickboxing, I've lost in boxing, I've lost in life, I've lost in love, I've lost in family," he added. "You don't just win all the time. It's wins and losses. You roll with the punches."
After a competitive three rounds on the feet, Blachowicz secured the victory by controlling Adesanya on the mat in the last two stanzas. "The Last Stylebender" doesn't believe Blachowicz's size advantage played a huge factor in the fight, but he gave him props for his takedowns and striking defense.
"He wasn't as careless as I was expecting, because I was expecting a careless Jan," Adesanya said. "I thought I would draw out some mistakes from him - which I did, but then he was able to fix those mistakes on the fly. Man, credit to the guy and his team. They put on one hell of a game plan, and they got their guy ready for me."
Blachowicz, who won the vacant light heavyweight title in September, has one of the best comeback stories in UFC history, and Adesanya is glad to be part of it.
"Tonight, I lost to a great champion," Adesanya said. "A deserving guy, as well. I'm happy for him, because in his story, he was I think 2-4 in the UFC (and) on his way to getting cut. ... He went on a tear, did his thing, and became champion.
"He's the guy to hand me my first loss in MMA. That's a great story for him. So I'm happy for him."
Meanwhile, it's back to the drawing board for Adesanya, but the 185-pound champ is confident he'll return better than ever.
"This is the dip in my story," he said. "This is the valley, if you will, and then I'll rise up again like the phoenix that I am."