Israel Adesanya’s head coach Eugene Bareman did see some flaws in the middleweight champ’s most recent title defense against Jared Cannonier at July’s UFC 276 event, but it didn’t change that the performance was still one-sided and sensational all-around.
Adesanya will headline Saturday’s UFC 281 fight card at Madison Square Garden as he defends his title against longtime foe — and two-time past kickboxing opponent — Alex Pereira.
In regards to the fan’s criticism of Adesanya’s dominant decision win to cap off International Fight Week, Bareman couldn’t care less.
“Other people’s expectations matters zero to me, it matters zero to the team, and it matters to Israel a little bit, more than it should,” Bareman said on The MMA Hour. We had some things going on and we planned to mount more offense than us, so we tried to push it on Israel, but we couldn’t come together with his ideas [coming] together.
“That’s what we need to work on. This is what I took away from that fight. We need to find out why our ideas didn’t come together, and we can’t continue with the offense. That has nothing to do w/ what others think. I believe he felt disappointed that he could not translate the plans we had for that cage that night .”
While the performance wasn’t exactly what Bareman had in mind for Adesanya, the City Kickboxing head coach still gives a lot of credit to his fighter. Bareman expected Cannonier would be more aggressive, as did most people. He wasn’t, and the bout played out the way that it did.
” We still managed to achieve what we wanted in terms of winning the fight,” Bareman stated. It was an excellent fight. Surprisingly, I believed Cannonier would put himself at greater risk. Cannonier became extremely, very conservative.
“It is easy to say it, but it’s much harder to actually be there and feel like you’re moving ahead. .”