Israel Adesanya has garnered widespread praise for his ability to put forth technical striking masterclasses and completely outdo his opponent on the feet. Over the past few years, Adesanya has gradually improved his grappling skills as well and has turned into a truly well-rounded MMA competitor.
Furthermore, Israel Adesanya is also known for his ability to KO opponents with a wide variety of striking techniques. Considering his wealth of kickboxing experience and knowledge in the realm of MMA striking, it would be safe to say that earning Adesanya’s praise as a striker is no small feat.
One fighter who has now seemingly earned Israel Adesanya’s praise is newly-crowned interim UFC heavyweight champion Ciryl Gane. Adesanya watched Gane’s headliner title fight against Derrick Lewis at this past weekend’s UFC 265 event.
In a UFC 265 reaction video posted on his official FREESTYLEBENDER YouTube channel, ‘The Last Stylebender’ weighed in with his take on Ciryl Gane as well as a future fight between Gane and Francis Ngannou. Israel Adesanya stated:
“I like that”, Adesanya said about a future fight between Gane and Ngannou. Adesanya continued, “I like that because, I mean, you’ve seen Francis’ last fight. He doesn’t fight the way; ‘patient Francis’ is a thing now. Patient Francis is a thing. So, yeah, Francis is different now. And he’s still the heavyweight champion.”
“This guy’s dangerous though, man. Cerebral Ciryl, I’ll say that. Cerebral Ciryl ‘cause he’s just systematic. Pop, pop, pop”, Adesanya suggested that Ciryl Gane keeps popping his opponent with his high-volume striking before eventually landing a heavy finishing blow. Adesanya added, “Pop, pop, pop. Boom. Dangerous.” (*Video courtesy: FREESTYLEBENDER YouTube channel; H/T Sportskeeda for the transcription)
Israel Adesanya vs. Robert Whittaker 2 and Francis Ngannou vs. Ciryl Gane
The first fight between Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker witnessed then-interim middleweight champion Adesanya defeat then-middleweight champion Whittaker. Adesanya stopped Whittaker via second-round KO in their title unification matchup at UFC 243 in October 2019.
The consensus in the MMA community is that Israel Adesanya is set to defend his UFC middleweight title in a rematch against Robert Whittaker next.
Meanwhile, former training partners – Francis Ngannou and Ciryl Gane – are expected to clash in a UFC heavyweight title unification matchup.
The respective dates for the aforementioned middleweight and heavyweight title fights are yet to be announced.