Israel Adesanya has lashed out at the UFC 276 spectators who booed following the conclusion of his underwhelming middleweight championship bout against Jared Cannonier and said that they don't know what real fighting is.
Adesanya took to the octagon at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas channeling WWE icon The Undertaker – even carrying an urn with the name of his upcoming opponent Cannonier.
Across the five-round bout, Adesanya and Cannonier looked relatively cautious with neither man ever in much danger despite the Nigerian-born New Zealand pro getting the better of the exchanges.
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Many of the 19,000 strong crowd felt short-changed by Adesanya's sixth defence of the belt – and made their feelings known with boos following the final round.
During his post-fight press conference, Adesanya said when asked for his reaction to the boos: "F*** em, f*** em.
"They have been here since 3pm, they were all drunk, they don't know what real fighting is or real finesse.
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"I've said this, look the greats all get to this point. I've seen it when I was just a fan, I'm still a fan.
"Anderson Silva, GSP (Georges St-Pierre), I remember fights where I'd be like 'that was a f****** fantastic fight' and the same thing – people would just boo them.
"GSP, one of the f****** goats and people would just boo him. I'm like 'what the f*** where you guys watching you dumb f***s'."
Adding: "(Muhammad) Ali, Floyd Mayweather people do the same thing. You get to this point that you're so great that people want to see you fall.
"You know? They just want to see you fall no matter what. And if it's not like a show out spectacular performance they are just like 'ahhhh he's not even that good'.
"Jared knows I'm a good fighter, he knows I'm a great fighter and I give him the same credit as well."
UFC 276 was held during the promotion's 10th annual International Fight Week, and included Donald Cerrone's retirement as well as Alex Pereira's knockout victory over Sean Strickland.
Alexander Volkanovski's masterclass in the co-main event secured him a third win over former champion Max Holloway, with Jessica-Rose Clark left clutching her badly dislocated left arm in an earlier bout.
Another victory for Ian Garry pushed his MMA record to 10-0, boosting his chances of securing a fight on the same card as his Conor McGregor in early 2023.
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