Las Vegas, NV — While Sean Strickland was busy doing a cross between his usual vulgar self and a stand-up routine at the UFC 276 press-conference on Thursday, UFC middleweight champ Israel Adesanya tried to keep his focus on current challenger Jared Cannonier.
To hear Adesanya tell it, it’s not all that hard. Strickland’s antics were “white noise,” the champ said. And he’s become accustomed to being in the spotlight.
“Being under the spotlight is an acquired taste, and I’m used to this,” Adesanya said Thursday at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Cannonier? Not so much, according to Izzy. “He’s mature, I heard he was like thirty-something, someone tried to bring that up and I’m like, doesn’t matter, he’s a veteran in this game. I think he’s mature, he can handle the spotlight, but not like me.”
That said, Adesanya does not care how Cannonier (who is actually 38) copes with the spotlight, or about much outside of the fight itself.
“I don’t really care to be honest. I’m just trying to do what I said, which is f*ck everybody up in this game,” the champ proclaimed. “And he’s next.”
Later, Adesanya would say his confidence was “very high” going into the fight. “Before this fight and this camp, Eugene [Bareman] said this camp was great, how can I top it? I felt like I did that. And I’ve been hearing how he’s been talking about ‘easy work, easy work.'”
“Who was the last person you made look easy?” Adesanya questioned, turning his attention directly to Cannonier. “Who was the last person you made look easy? Exactly. No, you made no one look easy.”
Adesanya, speaking right through Cannonier’s protests, boasted that he’d made opponents look easy “time and time again.”
“You’re next,” the UFC middleweight champion added. “I’mma make you easy work.”