Over the weekend, UFC middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya outclassed Paulo Costa.
It was a masterclass that made the muscular Brazilian look out of his league against the Nigerian-New Zealander.
In only two rounds, “The Last Stylebender” pummeled a man that many in the media believed would humble the champ.
But instead, not only did Adesanya defeat muscle mythology he stuck it to his critics harshly as well.
“Thank you guys, I know this has been crazy times but thank you guys for what you do and I know you I give you guys a hard time sometimes but thank you for what you do. But always remember, please always remember, you guys wouldn’t have a job if we don’t step in that f**king cage.
“So be mindful with your clickbait headlines, please. Be mindful with the stories you write and the tones you use even if you want to criticize a fighter, I’m open to criticism because I’m human. But be mindful with your clickbait headlines because one of you will get checked and slapped with a belt one day, my white belt.”
Clearly, Adesanya was fed up after his unanimous decision victory over Yoel Romero which saw his opponent not as engaged during what many considered a snoozer.
Harnessing on Roy Jones’ seminal cult classic song Y’all Must Have Forgot, Adesanya was out to prove that his confidence level is on a milly and he is slowly becoming the new face of the UFC.
The Jack Johnson of MMA?
Adesanya breaks all conventions in mixed martial arts, although his rise feels familiar.
Remember Rashad Evans?
He was also an unapologetically Afrikan champ that was undefeated en route to becoming the light heavyweight champ and then bested Forrest Griffin to become an undefeated belt holder.
Although he lost it in his next fight, it was his quiet confidence that made MMA fans have antipathy towards him.
His polarization came from just being unbothered and athletic which inevitably made him a polar opposite of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, who was more of a caricature the predominantly White MMA fan base could rally around.
However, even with Tyron Woodley who has been the most vocal mixed martial artist ever on social justice issues, Israel Adesanya is a different breed of rebellion.
He is brash, cocky, and confident beyond expectation on a stage this bright. He has spoken out on racial injustice in New Zealand and globally during the protest movement.
He is hip hop in the form of a dancer that uses his body as a revolt against popular MMA convention.
He is Afrikan in a traditional way that pays homage to his father Oluwafemi Adesanya. These are new dynamics for the MMA world to get adjusted to as they have only been used to this unapologetic energy from White combatants.
Where Conor McGregor is the unabashed Irish sensation, Adesanya is becoming the jewel of new Afrikan dominance in MMA.
It is comparable to former heavyweight champion, Jack Johnson who broke all stereotypes in boxing back in the late 1800’s-early 1900’s.
No, Adesanya isn’t crossing the color line like Johnson did when he became the first African-American world heavyweight champion.
However, he is challenging the prescribed image of a Black champion in the UFC.
The organization notoriously has never known how to market a champion of color, but Adesanya does so by merely forcing his personality onto the game.
It is a strategy that is genius as is it authenticate and uncompromising. Unlike Jon Jones, who can be an apologist or Kamaru Usman who started cocksure and now feels a compromising, Adesanya is unwavering.
Gone is Daniel Cormier, the good Black guy that gets along ethos.
Now is the era of Adesanya who dares you to question him, because he is equipped with answers. This comes during a time when the UFC has taken a Trumpism political position via its president, Dana White.
Aided by the unchecked venomous division created by the rhetoric of “Chaos” Colby Covington, Adesanya is the polar opposite of where the UFC has currently positioned itself.
Now that he is atop the mountain of middleweights, with the promise to go up in weight classes after he cleans the division, we can only watch his evolution and hope he continues to treat the platform differently than his predecessors.
Rumble young man, rumble.