Both Israel Adesanya and Alexander Volkanovski failed in their bids to win two titles, falling to Islam Makhachev and Jan Blachowicz, respectively. In an interview with Ariel Helwani for The MMA Hour, City Kickboxing head coach Eugene Bareman commented on their defeats, saying:
“Weight categories are used for a purpose. You will always be up against a bigger, stronger man since you won’t be able to get past that fact. It truly comes down to whether you have the technique to balance out the advantage of power and weight when you move up in weight division. That is what it is all about, and Volk and Israel both experienced it in the same way.”
“If you consider how all of those battles turned out, both of those individuals most likely shared the same destiny because they simply lacked the expertise to overcome the physical difference. Sometimes, that’s just way things are.”
Israel Adesanya and Alexander Volkanovski, according to Bareman, can continue to dominate in their division, but they are unsatisfied with that and prefer a challenge. To become double champions, both boxers were defeated by unanimous decision as their opponents primarily used wrestling to capitalise on the size disparity.
Watch Eugene Bareman’s whole remarks below, beginning at 4:52:
Eugene Bareman weighs in on Israel Adesanya’s rematch with Alex Pereira
In a rematch of their UFC 281 fight, Israel Adesanya will take on Alex Pereira at UFC 287 in an attempt to recapture the middleweight championship. Head coach of City Kickboxing Eugene Bareman said he would have loved for the No. 1 middleweight to have had more time in between battles.
On The MMA Hour, Bareman said to Ariel Helwani:
“To give Israel a little more time between a stoppage like that and the next fight, I would have likely waited longer and prepared if I had the option, which I fairly frequently don’t. In a perfect world, I would have performed the same actions as boxers do. In the UFC, we aren’t given the option to bring in a few people for Israel to warm up on before facing Pereira.”
Israel Adesanya was insistent that he will face Alex Pereira next, according to Bareman, who also mentioned that the two fighters almost squared off at the end of 2022. He said if he had his way, the fight would take place in May or June as opposed to April.