“KO of the Year Champ”: Fans react to UFC champ Israel Adesanya’s inclusion in ESPY 2023 awards

Israel Adesanya appears to be still ruminating on his triumphant knockout victory over Alex Pereira at UFC 287. It’s understandable why he would do so; having suffered three successive losses against ‘Poatan,’ he was finally able to get his revenge.

The UFC middleweight champion believes that his performance at UFC 287 deserves multiple ESPY Awards (Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Award).

He recently shared a screenshot of a conversation he had with his manager TJ Simpson on Twitter, where he expressed his desire to win the Comeback of the Year and Knockout of the Year awards, but he would happily accept the Fighter of the Year honors.

However, Adesanya’s demand for the ESPY’s Fighter of the Year 2023 award has sparked a debate among MMA fans on Twitter. One fan criticized Adesanya’s behavior, stating that it is easy to despise the UFC middleweight champion, considering that he has only won one out of his four fights against Alex Pereira.

Dana White confirms the next fight of Israel Adesanya

Israel Adesanya regained his UFC middleweight championship belt spectacularly by delivering a second-round knockout to Alex Pereira at UFC 287. Having defeated all the leading middleweight contenders, ‘The Last Stylebender’ is now in search of a new challenge.

The immediate question that arises is who will be his next opponent. Interestingly, UFC President Dana White has provided some insight on this matter.

Israel Adesanya

White recently announced that in July, former champion Robert Whittaker will face the rising star from South Africa, Dricus du Plessis, in a title eliminator match. This highly anticipated bout will determine who gets to face Adesanya in his next title defense, making it an event that fans will eagerly await.

“On Saturday, July 8 at UFC 290, we have a middleweight title eliminator. [Dricus] Du Plessis has won seven straight fights and finished six of them. The winner of that fight will fight Adesanya later this year. That fight is targeted for Sydney, Australia.”

Israel Adesanya celebrating

During the post-fight press conference for UFC 287, Israel did not explicitly refer to Dricus du Plessis by name. However, he made it clear that he intends to make the surging contender pay for comments he recently made, questioning Adesanya’s African heritage.

Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Sami Haider

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Sami Haider is a UFC/boxing journalist who connects combat sports to pop culture. His deep passion for the UFC started in 2018, triggered by the UFC 229: Khabib vs. McGregor fight. He is a passionate writer who has a profound love for the sport and the skills that are used in it. Through his work, Sami aspires to connect combat sportsmen and their enthusiastic fans.


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