Israel Adesanya is not the next Conor McGregor | MMA


Israel Adesanya set another scintillating performance at UFC 230 with a first-place knockout of sixth-place Derek Brunson to take his MMA record to 15-0 with his 13th. As nice as Adesanya was when his fists and feet flew, the Nigerian-New Zealander is as exceptional as his words.

"This was a walk in the park … no … this was a walk in the" Garden, "Adesanya ably told Joe Rogan during his post-fight interview in reference to his finish at Madison Square Garden . "I do not play and I hope.I point and shoot through the barrel.

Twitter responds to first-round knockout of Israel Adesanya over Derek Brunson

His penchant for a tacky joke is as sharp as his impressive. With four straight victories as a member of the UFC cast in less than a year, Adesanya certainly has the result of the next big news of MMA.

It is almost unfortunate that people are quick to identify it as the next interaction of another blunt dynamo, who quickly climbed the ladder before entering the mainstream as a cross-celebrity.

It did not take long for a member of the media to draw a lazy, but understandable, comparison: "Does your ascent remind you of Conor McGregor's ascent with him knocking people down and talking bullshit?"

The parallels can not be totally dismissed, since McGregor had an astronomical increase in his arrival to the UFC. After defeating Marcus Brimage and young Max Holloway in 2013, McGregor was out for a year. After his comeback, he secured four consecutive wins in 12 months, with the final win during that time being a knockout in Chad Mendes' second round to clinch the provisional UFC featherweight title. His mouth was as lethal as his hands during his well-documented ascent and helped put him on top of the UFC cards and in the mainstream.

Both McGregor and Adesanya are recognized for their devastating performance and doubts hover over their respective floor games. But that is where the comparisons must end.

"I think it's totally different," UFC president Dana White said during the post-fight press conference when asked about the comparison between the Irishman and the New Zealander. "I think he's a completely different person from Conor, he has a completely different personality than Conor, he's very different, obviously a very different style of fighting than Conor, I would not compare those two."

McGregor made it clear that his goal was to make lots of money and he would say whatever it took to sell a fight. The Irishman has always been calculated in his way of talking about rubbish and has often assumed the role of a crazy-eyed maniac with an insatiable appetite for mental games.

Adesanya has not yet shared those same feelings in terms of consciously selling a fight. Instead, Adesanya's personality is one that welcomes verbal confrontation, but does not necessarily seek to verbally destroy his opponents before a fight. He is sincere and confident, but not coarse with his approach to combat. He is expressive and likes the spotlight, but it is something he does in the dark, as well as in the light.

When it comes to striking, Adesanya is a kickboxing dynamo whose technique is among the best in mixed martial arts. Where McGregor often relied on his famous right hand, Adesanya seeks to terrorize his opponents with all their appendages. Against Brunson, Adesanya sniffed his opponent's attempts to fall with one knee, hit a blow and hit a beautiful high kick before sending his opponent to the street of dreams with his right hand in a straight line.

The Last Stylebender technique is derived from his exceptional professional kickboxing career, in which he was 75-5-1. He also tried his hand as a professional boxer, where he won six straight bouts after losing his professional debut by decision in 2014.

He has already shown tremendous growth in his game on the ground and in the defense of falls. After bursting a split-decision victory over Marvin Vettori, who often put Adesanya in the back when the showdown earlier this year, Adesanya was paired with two exceptional fighters in Brad Tavares and Brunson mentioned above. The result was very different, as Adesanya demonstrated an exceptional fall defense and showed a far better ability to control distance in an MMA match while showing the explosion that became his calling card.

Like McGregor, he's already looking for a title fight. However, this has become the case with many unique talents who have made a quick climb to the top. Jon Jones went through the UFC light heavyweight division that was packed with future runners before being seen competing for a world title in a relatively short time against Shogun Street. Cody Garbrandt is another fighter who ripped the scene in 2016 with four straight wins before snatching Dominick Cruz's UFC bantamweight title to end his torrid run.

McGregor is not the first to make a rapid increase, but it is certainly the most memorable. Adesanya proved to be a very different animal in terms of his approach, technique and magnetic personality. We often like to find the nearest thing to compare a fighter, but Adesanya should live on his own merit. He's got it right so far. And he may be just scratching the surface of his spectacular ability as a mixed martial artist and a trustworthy star.

White made it clear that he is not willing to take Adesanya to the top of the division as quickly as the Nigerian fighter would like to see. However, White says many things that do not necessarily materialize.

He certainly knows what he has with Israel Adesanya and mentioned that he has his next opponent in mind. The middleweight division, where the 29-year-old lives, has an intriguing range of talents. Robert Whitaker is at the top of the division with the hierarchy behind him, including Jacare Souza, Kelvin Gastelum, Yoel Romero and Luke Rockhold.

What is interesting is that White may suggest that he does not climb Adesanya up the stairs, but he may have no choice. With Adesanya decimating Brunson impressively, Weidman 's knockout defeat to the Alligator (No. 5), Rockhold' s injury problems (No. 2) and Yoel Romero 's weight problems (No. 1), the way to a world title shot may not be able to be avoided. With Robert Whitaker poised to defend his title against fourth-placed Gastelum, there is very little room for maneuvering in White. The only possible opponent that can make sense is against Paulo Costa, but this is putting two praised prospects together with an effort to eliminate one of them.

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However, the star of Adesanya is shining extraordinarily bright and there is potential for him to become a star of escape in the world of mixed martial arts. Obviously, there are still many obstacles for him to end the gap between Cody Garbrandt (fast fall, fast fall), Conor McGregor (one of the talents with a meteoric rise) and Sage Northcutt (very forced, also fast).

Who knows exactly where it will end next year. One thing is certain, it has the "It" factor and the arrow on your watch is pointing straight at the ceiling.

But please do not try to make Israel Adesanya the next Conor McGregor, because The Last Stylebender is truly unique.


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