Adesanya says he had 'off night' vs. Cannonier: 'I still f----- him up'
UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya wasn't at his best against Jared Cannonier.
Although Adesanya's unanimous decision win over Cannonier at UFC 276 on Saturday was largely a lackluster affair, he still won all five rounds on one judge's scorecard, and four of five on the other two. "The Last Stylebender" takes solace in knowing he can get his hand raised regardless of his performance.
"I had an off night tonight," Adesanya said at the postfight press conference.
"(Head coach) Eugene (Bareman) told me, 'The people who really know you' - my teammates, my family - 'they know you had an off night.' And still, I still f----- (Cannonier) up."
Adesanya said he realized he wasn't at his best when he struggled to land power shots. He added that nothing went wrong in the days or hours leading up to the fight.
Fans at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas booed Adesanya and Cannonier after the main event, but Adesanya wasn't bothered by the reaction.
"F--- them," he said. "They've been here since 3 p.m., they're all drunk, they don't know what real fighting is."
Adesanya is the No. 3-ranked men's pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC and has now defended the middleweight belt five times. He compared his situation to Anderson Silva and Georges St-Pierre, saying that some fighters become so dominant that fans expect perfect performances each fight.
"If it's not a show out, spectacular performance, then it's like, 'Ah, he's not even that good,'" Adesanya said.