UFC featherweight David Onama recently found himself at the center of controversy after imitating Israel Adesanya’s victory celebration following his win at UFC on ABC 5. While some fans appreciated the homage, others criticized Onama for appropriating someone else’s signature move.
Onama returned to the octagon on June 24, facing off against Gabriel Santos in the main card of UFC on ABC 5. Both were eager to rebound from previous losses and displayed their determination from the moment the action began. The battle was intense, with heavy blows exchanged between the two athletes. However, it was Onama who showcased his dominance.
At 29 years old, Onama unleashed a barrage of punches, ultimately delivering a knockout blow to Santos early in the second round. This victory marked Onama’s successful return to the win column after a previous loss via split decision against Nate Landwehr in August 2022. His overall record stands at 11 wins and 2 losses, with one of the losses coming against Mason Jones in 2021.
Following his win over Santos, Onama garnered attention for his celebration. In a gesture reminiscent of middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, Onama mimicked the infamous arrow move.
Adesanya had popularized this celebration after reclaiming his title against Alex Pereira in April. Adesanya’s gesture involved pulling imaginary arrows from his back and shooting them toward Pereira, who was lying on the canvas. Adesanya employed this move as a playful jab at Pereira’s entrance, which often involved mimicking hunting with a bow and arrow.
Onama’s decision to emulate Adesanya’s celebration, however, received mixed reactions from fans. Some criticized Onama for “stealing” another man’s signature move, pointing out the lack of correlation between Onama’s victory and the celebration itself.
One fan expressed disappointment, stating, “Can’t steal another man’s celebration. Come on now!” Another fan voiced confusion, saying, “I don’t understand the celebration, man… Adesanya did it because that’s how Poatan enters…”
Despite the criticism, there were also supporters who defended Onama’s choice. They argued that he was paying homage to Israel Adesanya as a sign of respect. One fan defended Onama, saying, “Let him be great!! He’s paying homage to [Israel Adesanya]. It’s a show of respect. Let’s go, David.”
— Spinnin Backfist (@SpinninBackfist) June 24, 2023
Ezra Samuel is a passionate freelance writer with a particular love for covering MMA news. His interest in the sport dates back to his college days, and he has since established himself as a respected voice in the MMA community. Over the years, Ezra has contributed his writing to a variety of digital outlets, including the popular site calfkicker.