Nigerians have backed Israel Adesanya to bounce back from his unanimous decision loss to Jan Blachowicz in the light heavyweight category of the Ultimate Fighting Championship bout on Sunday at the UFC APEX Arena in Las Vegas.
Adesanya, the middleweight champion, was gunning to become the fifth UFC fighter to win two division belts after Conor McGregor, Daniel Cormier, Henry Cejudo, and Amanda Nunes, but the hard-hitting Polish fighter ended Adesanya’s historic chase after five rounds.
The 31-year old, who suffered his first defeat in 21 Mixed Martial Arts fights, has promised to bounce back from the loss and rule the middleweight division but didn’t rule out a return to the light heavyweight category.
“I dared to be great and now I go back to the middleweight and rule it with an Iron fist. I will still be back to the light heavyweight division,” Adesanya said after suffering his first loss.
The referee’s scorecard read 49-46, 49-45 and 49-45 all in favour of Blachowiz.
Elvis Tunde said Adesanya was brave to have fought a fighter above his weight category.
“The fight between Israel and Jan was a close one and there’s nothing to be ashamed of. ‘Izzy’s’ move from middleweight to light heavyweight isn’t an easy one. Our guy is still the UFC middleweight champion,” Tunde tweeted.
@AlphaApril1 wrote, “Great champions sometimes fall but to show true greatness, you have to bounce back bigger and better. Adesanya has the Nigerian ‘never die’ spirit and the heart of a champion. I am super proud of him and I know he’ll come back stronger.”
Laba Laba Master @Buchi_Laba wrote, “Cleaned his division with nobody to challenge him and stepped up with nothing to lose. Looking for greatness and lost by a small margin to a worthy opponent and you’re laughing. ‘Izzy’ didn’t fail, he just paused.”
Hakeem @dansatty tweeted, “Nice fight ‘Izzy’ but definitely not your day. We win some, we lose some, either way, we move.”
@YinkaPost, said, “Israel Adesanya came into UFC, conquered his division, and had to move up a division to suffer his first loss in #UFC259. Forever a champion.”