UFC middleweight champion Adesanya (23-1 MMA, 12-1 UFC) outpointed Cannonier (15-6 MMA, 8-6 UFC) in this past Saturday’s main event at T-Mobile Arena, where he received boos from the fans as the fight lacked action.
It was another clean performance for Adesanya, who admitted that he had an off night. But Cormier said Cannonier’s hesitancy to engage resulted in the uneventful affair.
“So many people have said this, and it gets a bit cliche, but it takes two to tango,” Cormier said on his ESPN show “DC & RC.” “If Jared Cannonier is going to cruise to a loss, how is it Izzy’s responsibility to do more? Now, I thought Cannonier early had some moments, but they just weren’t sustained.
“He could not get it going to a level or to a degree that could truly challenge Adesanya. Adesanya is one of the most talented counter-strikers in the business, so you’ve got to be very guarded with your engagements because if you don’t, you end up like Paulo Costa and Robert Whittaker in the first fight and Kelvin Gastelum to a lesser degree.”
Adesanya had tough acts to follow after his former kickboxing foe, Alex Pereira, starched Sean Strickland and City Kickboxing teammate Alexander Volkanovski put on a masterclass against Max Holloway. However, despite the criticism, Cormier still thinks Adesanya put on a good performance.
“I thought he fought a good fight,” Cormier said. “I thought he was smart. I thought he dominated the fight. He won the fight four rounds to one on both cards and then the other card was five rounds to zero. What more can you want from a guy in defending his championship but winning all the rounds? The problem is, when you become a guy like Israel – and Anderson Silva went through the same thing, Jon Jones went through the same thing – you become so dominant that those dominating performances become a bit lackluster.”