‘We’re Humans Too!’- Israel Adesanya Says He Doesn’t Owe Fans Anything

Published 06/10/2021, 1:23 AM EDT
PERTH, AUSTRALIA – FEBRUARY 11: Israel Adesanya of Nigeria celebrates his victory over Rob Wilkinson of Australia in their middleweight bout during the UFC 221 event at Perth Arena on February 11, 2018 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


Israel Adesanya sat down with Kevin Iole from Yahoo Sports ahead of his third title defense at UFC 263. ‘The Last Stylebender’ will go toe-to-toe with rival Marvin Vettori in a rematch of a bout from 2018. As both men have added several new dimensions to their game, fans expect the rematch to produce fireworks.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

While going over his upcoming fight, Israel Adesanya also shared his thoughts on run-ins he had with fans. Israel Adesanya is one of the most popular figures in MMA and it’s no surprise that he’s always being flocked by media and fans. While Adesanya enjoys the position he’s in, he also feels that the way in which fans treat fighters needs to undergo a change.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – OCTOBER 06: Israel Adesanya makes his way to the Octagon for the Middleweight title bout during UFC 243 at Marvel Stadium on October 06, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

“I just want fans to be respectful because I think they forget we’re humans too. Image if you’re chilling there on your phone… and you’re maybe in a good mood, maybe in a bad mood. Maybe you’re cutting weight, cause a lot of these people don’t understand what it’s like when you cutting weight…and someone just comes out of nowhere… and your adrenaline just goes up and they give you a fright….”

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

“I just want people to respect fighters. Just respect the space, see like is he in a rush, is he busy? Sometimes we got sh*t to do, we’re trying to get to this place and make this meeting or make this time and you want us to sign 10 different items, it’s not really cool.”

Adesanya says he’ll never turn down fan interaction with kids

Israel Adesanya also explained that he would never turn down a kid who approached him for an autograph. Adesanya described the opportunity of running into one’s idol as a child to potentially be a life-changing experience. However, his expectations from adult fans are certainly different.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – FEBRUARY 10: Israel Adesanya of New Zealand stands in his corner prior to his middleweight bout against Anderson Silva of Brazil during the UFC 234 at Rod Laver Arena on February 10, 2019 in the Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

“You’ll never see me turn down a kid. Even if I’m having a bad day, even If I’m having the worst day, you’ll never see me turn down a kid because that moment for them could change their life so you’ll never see me turn down a kid.”

“Some kids were waiting outside the gym and one of them was like ‘Oh, can you sign this and then he had another one ‘Can you sign this for my friend Mike, he can’t be here.’ I gave them the time of day because that was really cool. Your friend can’t be here and you wanted to get him a signature as well. That’s fu*king awesome. That’s pure, that’s the innocence of a child.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

“If you’re a grown-a** man and you’re getting mad at me cause I’m at a gas station and you want me to fu**king take a photo by a gas pump…like getting mad at me like ‘Oh, what an a**hole’…But a kid that wants to take a photo with me genuinely, you’ll never see me turn him down.”

As he continues to ride his wave of fame, ‘Izzy’ will certainly be tasked with more fan interactions in the future. From now on, he’ll be looking for more understanding from fans who he comes across. Chiefly, his sentiments aren’t foreign as they have been reiterated by several champions in the past as well.

Watch this story: List of UFC Fighters Who Are Married to Each Other

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Darryl Pinto

1595 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT