Former two-time middleweight champion Israel Adesanya was left understandly distraught after seeing his teammate, Alexander Volkanovski, go down to a vicious first-round head kick in the UFC 294 headliner.
Stepping into the Octagon to run back their February Fight of the Year contender on just 11 days’ notice, Alexander Volkanovski was as confident as ever that he could solve the puzzle that the ‘Dagestani Destroyer’ presents. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be as the reigning featherweight champ succumbed to a perfectly-timed head kick three minutes into the contest.
Watching from the comfort of his home, Volkanovski’s City Kickboxing teammate Israel Adesanya was hoping to see his friend leave Abu Dhabi as a double champion. Instead, ‘The Last Stylebender’ would be left in shock after seeing Volkanovski come up short for the second-straight time against the lightweight world champion.
“F*ck. It was that left kick from southpaw,” Adesanya said in his reaction video on YouTube. “It went over the head and just clipped him. I think he caught him with it in the first fight, maybe. Still the best, bro. I love you, dude. F*ck! It was there, but it just scraped over him. F*ck.”
Coming up short of claiming his second UFC title, Alexander Volkanovski will likely return to the 145-pound division where Ilia Topuria anxiously awaits his opportunity to challenge for the featherweight championship.
Meanwhile, Israel Adesanya will continue to sit on the sidelines and enjoy some time away from the Octagon after his own devastating defeat at the hands of Sean Strickland at UFC 293 in September. The loss came five months after reclaiming the belt from long-time foe Alex Pereira. The ‘Stylebender’ has not provided any sort of timeline for his return to the Octagon, but he did acknowledge that it would be “a long time” before we see him compete again.