Israel Adesanya is one of four City Kickboxing fighters set to fight this weekend. Head coach Eugene Bareman detailed the pressure his team has faced leading up to UFC 281.
Speaking to Submission Radio, Bareman stated:
“Brad’s coming off two losses. Dan’s coming off losses. Carlos just started a new contract and to start his new contract he’s got a real, real good – maybe a fighter that is flying under the radar a little bit, but we’ve studied him dilligently and he’s a very, very good opponent for Carlos. And then, obviously Izzy is going to fight one of the best strikers in the world.”
“As coaches and as a team, we have felt the pressure, but we feel the pressure every time. What makes us good at what we do, and some would say amongst the best at what we do, is that we know how to turn that pressure into something else… There’s been a lot of extra pressure that we’ve felt compared to other fight nights, but we’ve embraced it and used it.”
Despite facing additional pressure leading up to the fight, City Kickboxing will look to walk away from UFC 281 with four victories. UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya will be joined by Dan Hooker, Brad Riddell, and Carlos Ulberg on the fight card.
Watch Eugene Bareman discuss the pressure heading into UFC 281 below (starting at the 7:55 mark):
Israel Adesanya honored by Georges St-Pierre meeting
Ahead of UFC 281, Israel Adesanya spent time with UFC Hall of Famer Georges St-Pierre. Adesanya recently shared that he was honored to learn from the mixed martial arts legend.
Appearing on First Take, the middleweight champion stated:
“There’s not many people on Earth, in existence, that’s ever been in this position. I remember when Georges was the champion and he was getting the same criticism I was while he was dominating… Georges actually flew from Montreal to come hang out with me, and I felt honored about that. We just chopped it up for a couple of days and I learnt a lot from him.”
Adesanya will look to defend his middleweight title for the sixth time at UFC 281. The No.2-ranked pound-for-pound fighter will face his former kickboxing rival, Alex Pereira, as he looks to avenge his previous losses as St-Pierre did at UFC 83, by defeating Matt Serra.
Watch Israel Adesanya discuss spending time with Georges St-Pierre below (starting at the 2:30 mark):