UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya has revealed he cried in his dressing room after his last fight, despite having beat Jared Cannonier.
The Last Stylebender was awarded a unanimous decision victory after going the distance with Cannonier in July. Heading into his next title defence against former kickboxing rival Alex Pereira at UFC 281 this weekend, he's failed to stop his last three opponents.
His most recent performance faced particular scrutiny from fans, and Adesanya wasn't happy with it himself. Speaking on the MMA Hour, he said: "I don’t hold on to things, I let myself feel them. People try to deny things and block it, if you fight your emotions they’ll get you later on.
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"So I feel it. I cried backstage. Me and [coach] Eugene [Bareman] hugged it out and he told me, ‘Don’t worry, you’ll be fine.’ "I was like, ‘Just give me a bourbon, I’ll be fine.’
"So I expressed it, feel it, and I let it go. It’s a good way to release emotions, it relaxes you. It’s just a normal human function, I don’t know why we shame it. [I was] upset at myself for what I wanted to do."
Adesanya explained how he had put extra pressure on himself to put on a show with the contest falling during International Fight Week. He'd made his way to the Octagon dressed up as WWE legend The Undertaker.
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But the Las Vegas crowd booed him out of the T-Mobile Arena following the conclusion of the bout. Adesanya believes facing Pereira, who holds two wins over him from their kickboxing careers, will result in a more entertaining fight on Saturday (November 12) night.
He added: "I'm really excited to have someone, finally, who after the first round or second round they realise they cant do s*** and [don't] just want to be defensive.
"I'm excited to have someone who's going to attack me and try and finish me. Is he going to get knocked out or am I going to get knocked out?"
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