Eugene Bareman, coach and founder of City Kickboxing, has weighed in on the recent setback of former UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya.
Adesanya faced a surprising defeat at the hands of Sean Strickland at UFC 293 last September, leading to speculation about potential burnout from his frequent Octagon appearances.
Bareman, however, dismisses the notion that Adesanya's active fight schedule was the primary cause of his recent struggles. In an interview with She Loves The Gloves for europop, Bareman provided insights into what he believes led to Adesanya's burnout.
Contrary to popular belief, Bareman suggested that Adesanya's exhaustion was not a result of too many fights but rather a failure to maintain the necessary lifestyle outside of the cage. According to Bareman, being a champion at the highest level requires a specific lifestyle that rejuvenates and refocuses the athlete in the months between fights.
"Israel can’t get burned out fighting three or four times a year," Bareman said. "The issue is what’s happening between these fights. In my opinion, as a professional athlete, Israel didn’t do what he needed to do between those fights to not be burned out. In order to remain a champion, at the highest level of our sport, you have to live a certain lifestyle, a lifestyle that reinvigorates you.
Bareman emphasized the importance of staying focused on goals during the period between fights, rather than waiting for specific opponents to start preparation. He acknowledged that Adesanya might disagree with his perspective but asserted,
"You have to be focused on your goals in the four to six months between now and your next fight, instead of waiting for the UFC to call with a specific opponent to start the preparation," Bareman continued. "Israel will probably disagree with this and argue with me — he does that a lot — but I’m usually the one who’s right (laughs)."
Adesanya has been vocal about his own views on the matter, pointing to his quick turnarounds since becoming champion in 2019.
Despite the recent setback, Adesanya is gearing up for a comeback sooner than expected. He has confirmed a return to full training in the coming weeks and teased a potential grudge match with Dricus Du Plessis at UFC 300 following the South African's recent success in Toronto. The road to redemption for "The Last Stylebender" seems to be taking shape, promising an intriguing chapter in his storied career.