Israel Adesanya: ‘That was my fifth title defense, put some f*cking respect on my sh*t’
Middleweight champion Israel Adesanya defended his title for the fourth, or fifth time at UFC 271 on Feb. 12 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. Technically, he defended the UFC middleweight championship for the fourth time, but he insists that it was his fifth title defense because he was the interim champion prior to become the undisputed 185-pound titleholder.
Adesanya defeated Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 236 in April 2019 to win the interim middleweight championship. In October 2019, at UFC 243, Adesanya faced then-undisputed champion Robert Whittaker, and finished Whittaker in the second round to unify the belts. It was at that moment that Adesanya became the undisputed middleweight champion.
“This is my fifth title defense. I don’t know why people keep saying it’s my fourth. It makes no sense,” Adesanya said during the UFC 271 Post-Fight Press Conference.
“I was the interim champion. I still have that ‘interim’ belt, and in the interim, I’m the champion. If he beat me at UFC 243, that would have counted as a defense of his belt, so when I beat him, that’s not just unifying the belt. That counts as a defense for my belt.”
“Stop saying four title defenses. That’s my fifth title defense. Put some f*cking respect on my sh*t,” he said.
UFC 271 Highlights: Israel Adesanya vs. Robert Whittaker
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