Eugene Bareman, head coach of Israel Adesanya has never been one to mince words.
It should come as no surprise, then, that the recent recipient of the MMA Coach of the Year award is adamant that his star pupil, Adesanya, is more than deserving of an immediate title rematch opposite career rival Alex Pereira, after stumbling once more to the Brazilian at UFC 281 in November.
“At the end of the day,” Bareman told Submission Radio in a recent interview. “It can only go that way, right? Like, you get a champion that does the sort of service that he’s done for the company, defended that many times that frequently… you have to give the man the rematch. He wants that rematch – there’s no other choice. What else could you do? No other fight makes sense.”
When the subject of one Khamzat Chimaev and his own recent interest in the 185-pound division was broached during the conversation, Bareman was quick to shut down any suggestions that the Chechen may skip the queue for the belt.
“Khamzat’s a rising star but he’s literally done nothing at middleweight so he hasn’t established himself. We’re talking about two guys [Adesanya and Pereira] at the top of the food chain in terms of their status in combat sports. Khamzat is a rising star – he’s a massive rising star – but he’s not in the position of these two guys. This is the biggest fight and Khamzat has to beat people at middleweight to work his way up to even fighting one of these guys.”
“Unless the politics and business of the sport take over,” Bareman continued. “That’s still the biggest fight to make.”
“And at the end of the day – it’s not Alex’s choice to make you know? It will be Alex’s choice when he makes X amount of title defenses and does well for the company and all that; then it will be Alex’s choice.”
The AllStar MMA roundup
- The AllStar MMA Live: UFC 282 Reaction, Recap with Sasha Palatnikov
The best of the rest
- Mohegan commission to review Raufeon Stots vs. Danny Sabatello with judges, sanctions possible – MMAFighting.com
- BKFC making serious push to pursue Nate Diaz and Eddie Alvarez in free agency – MMAFighting.com
- Jamahal Hill plans to bring stability at 205 pounds, become ‘true champion’ vs. Glover Teixeira at UFC 283 – MMAJunkie.com
- Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson reveals what Kevin Holland said to him during UFC Orlando main event – MMAFighting.com
- Darren Till ‘going to have a little bit of time off’ following UFC 282 sub loss, but ‘not retired’ – BloodyElbow.com
Jan speaks on UFC 282:
Looks as if Wonderboy spoke out of turn:
And also asked for the Nick Diaz fight:
Is Ngannou’s contract already up?
Cejudo’s out, Rosas is in:
How are those for stats:
The Steamrolla’s thoughts on Paddy:
Bryce Mitchell’s post-fight statement:
Vettori putting absolute work in:
And a funny one to cap it all off:
The morning view
Koji Takeda previews the Bellator vs Rizin NYE event:
Sasha Palatnikov opens up on his Karate Combat debut:
The Weasle digs into the Pimblett vs Gordon scoring:
MMA On Point asks: what the fuck was that?:
- Erick Gonzalez to fight Darrius Flowers at UFC Vegas 68 on February 25th (per MMA Island)
- Daniel Marcos to fight Saimon Oliveira at UFC 283 on January 21st (per Giano Alva
- Glover Teixeira will fight Jamahal Hill at UFC 283 on January 21st (per Dana White)
- Viviane Araújo to fight Amanda Ribas at UFC 285 on March 4th (per Dana De Ferro MMA)
UFC Roster Watch
Fighters removed this week:
- none to note
Fighters Added this week:
- none to note
Credit to UFC Roster Watch
On this day in MMA…
On the 13th of December, 2014, UFC on Fox: dos Santos vs Miocic took place in Phoenix Arizona – the promotion’s first time hosting an event in the Grand Canyon State that is now as hotbed for MMA talent.
As the name of the event suggests, Junior dos Santos faced Stipe Miocic in the headline bout. The 25-minute all-time war that would ensue won the pair Fight of the Night honors, though in the end, only “Cigano’s” hand was raised. However, Miocic would exact revenge on the Brazilian two and a half years later at UFC 211, where he would make his second successful defense of the heavyweight title by disposing of his veteran peer with strikes in the opening round.
Also of note on the card was Rafael dos Anjos’ unanimous decision victory over Nate Diaz (who missed weight for just the second time in his career), Henry Cejudo’s and Bryan Barberena’s UFC debuts and Joanna Jędrzejczyk’s defeat of Claudia Gadelha – the first loss of the Brazilian’s career.