Israel Adesanya might be too cool for school but he still likes to irk his opponents in mental games. Earlier this year Adesanya inadvertently forced Whittaker to play Rock, paper, scissors and lose right there in the octagon before their fight.
Adesanya also wore an NFT necklace featuring his previous KO over Whittaker at the presser.
So it might not be a huge surprise to learn this is how he approached Jarod Cannonier as well during their face off for UFC 276.
Adesanya appeared to shake the hand of Cannonier but seemed to be playing kind of a mind game on him. Not to mention the gestures he made later on during the tail end of the face off.
The two appeared to be playing a game of chicken and forcing the other to break the handshake first before UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby stopped things from escalating.
Adesanya was previously quoted saying that the Cannonier match became personal after hearing some of the comments Cannonier had made about him.
“I used to follow him. We exchanged pleasantries online. He responded to a few of my stories. Things changed when he started talking sh*t. I took that personally,” Adesanya said.
“I don’t know (why he switched up), man. These people always act different around me. It’s weird. I think it’s just because it’s me, they feel like they have to change what they do.
“Just do what got you to the dance. Same advice I gave to Rob (Whittaker) before the first fight, just do what got you to the dance. Why are you trying to be Mr. funny guy?” Adesanya continued. “For me, this one I’m like, ‘Bet.’ That’s all I needed, and I was like, ‘Cool.’ I’m gonna use him as an example.”
Adesanya will attempt to make his sixth championship defense against Jared Cannonier on July 2 at UFC 276. At the same event, Sean Strickland will aim to showcase his abilities against Alex Pereira.