LAS VEGAS – If he was going to lose to someone, Israel Adesanya is glad he lost to a guy like Jan Blachowicz.
According to UFC middleweight champion Adesanya (20-1 MMA, 9-1 UFC), who lost a unanimous decision to UFC light heavyweight champion Blachowicz (28-8 MMA, 11-5 UFC) in the main event of UFC 259 on Saturday, he accepts the role of losses in competition – and in life.
“Losses are part of life. Losses are something I deal with occasionally,” Adesanya told reporters, including MMA Junkie, at the post-fight news conference. “Just this is my first one in MMA. As I say, it is what it is. If I was going to lose to anyone, what better guy to lose to than a guy like Jan?
“(He’s) a classy champion, a cool dude, a very nice guy – a guy who has a great story in himself. On his way to getting cut from the company, comes back and then dominates and becomes the light heavyweight champion and then hands this guy, a future legend, his first loss. Yeah, if I was going to lose to anyone, I’m glad I lost to him.”
From the moment he declared his venture up to 205 pounds, Adesanya accepted the risk. As he reflected on his quest to become a UFC double champion, Adesanya said he would do it again if given the opportunity.
“(I have) no regrets,” Adesanya said. “Like I said, I don’t know. I feel like the boxing model has made it a bad thing to lose. Yeah, it sucks losing. Don’t get me wrong. But it’s not like the end of the world. Like I said, I’ve lost before in the past. … Right now, me and my team, we’re just excited to get home and work on certain little details.”
Though City Kickboxing’s Eugene Bareman and his fellow coaches will analyze the tape in great detail in due time, Adesanya’s initial impression was that a few tweaks in his UFC 259 performance would’ve gone a long way.
“Honestly, I could’ve won this fight,” Adesanya said. “… Tonight he played a better game plan, and he was the better fighter tonight. That’s it. He respected me, and I respected him, and we had a great showing of ourselves. I’m not heartbroken. I hate losing. Don’t get me wrong. But I’m not like, ‘Oh my god. F*ck, he really embarrassed me. Like, that was it.’ Nah, I felt like I had a great showing for myself.
“I represented my team very well. Now we go back to the drawing board. It’s kind of fun. Like, I look forward to like, this is the dip in my story. (Do) you know what I mean? This is the valley, if you will. Then, I’ll rise again like the phoenix that I am.”