Israel Adesanya reveals grade 1 MCL tear less than two weeks before Alex Pereira rematch at UFC 287
Israel Adesanya says he was not 100 percent going into his title-fight rematch with Alex Pereira at UFC 287.
Adesanya (23-2 MMA, 12-2 UFC) revealed that he suffered a grade 1 MCL tear to his right knee just 13 days before he ran things back with Pereira (7-2 MMA, 4-1 UFC) earlier this month in Miami. There also was some damage to his ankle, he said.
His injury started to affect him when Pereira was unleashing staggering leg kicks, but Adesanya was able to knock “Poatan” out in Round 2 to reclaim the middleweight title.
Adesanya explained he sustained the injury while defending a takedown during sparring and released a video on his YouTube channel to show the exact moment it happened. “The Stylebender” powered through the injury and finished off the grappling round, anyway.
“I remember the feeling, as well – it was hot,” Adesanya said. “It felt hot, like a burning feeling. But this is just mental toughness – mental toughness and adrenaline. … We’re fighters, man. Don’t worry. I’ve been through worse. I’ve been through some sh*t.”
Watch the full video below:
UFC champ Israel Adesanya sounds off on Dricus Du Plessis: 'I’m going to f*cking beat him until he’s black'
Robert Whittaker vs. Dricus Du Plessis added to UFC 290; Dana White says winner gets Israel Adesanya
Eugene Bareman details 'old things' Israel Adesanya brought back in Alex Pereira win at UFC 287
Despite the injury, UFC president Dana White said Adesanya is looking to compete in July. Adesanya already has beaten the top five ranked UFC middleweights, but his next challenger could come from the winner of former foe Robert Whittaker and Dricus Du Plessis, who battle at UFC 290 on July 8.