ROUNDTABLE: Has Israel Adesanya proven himself or is he overhyped?

By Michael Hiscoe, Managing Editor

Apr 12, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Israel Adesanya during weigh ins for UFC 236 at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

Has Israel Adesanya done enough to prove he’s championship level or has he been overhyped?

Patrick Shaheen, Host – MMA Scope Podcast

So I have been an Israel fan since his debut in the UFC, but I did think the hype train was rolling a little fast? Absolutely. I thought Gastelum would be too much with his pressure, and KG is not on Yoel Romero’s level of wrestling or Whittakers striking. But he is one of the most well-rounded middleweights. Israel is real, and yes he deserved that shot and the next. 1. He’s not 40 years old, 2. Being marketable is very important, and I don’t have the stats but by the look of the crowd, he sold the most shirts Saturday night and got the biggest pop. 3. He is a master at his art, which is keeping distance and landing volume, the best striker in the division in my opinion and he showed he could maintain distance against a guy who constantly pressures.

Christian Moore, MMATorch Contributor

I think anyone saying Adesanya is overhyped is a little too late to the party now. You can’t say he’s all hype anymore. Every fight he has, leading up to it, it always “Is Adesanya overrated?” and he continues to dominate. Now, this fight wasn’t domination, except for Round 5, but Adesanya still won solidly. Gastelum was the #1 contender, and Adesanya was tested, but he still won. Now, is Adesanya untouchable and unbeatable like some people think? No, and this fight showed it. He was hurt a few times, and really bad at least twice. But even though he isn’t invincible, he isn’t overrated. He had dominated every fight up to now, and even here was dominant enough to get the win, so no more “Adesanya is overrated” because if it doesn’t stop now, when will it? If he beats Whittaker? Or even after that? Adesanya has proven himself, and this overhype thing is gone for me.

Frank Hyden, Columnist – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

I think it’s both. I think he’s champion level but also a little overhyped. He has a tremendous amount of potential and he’s fulfilled most of it, but not quite all. I’ve seen people compare him to Jon Jones and he’s not there yet. He might be one day, he might even surpass Jones, but he’s not on that level yet so it’s unfair to hype him up that much.


Michael Hiscoe, MMATorch Managing Editor

If we asked this question after the Anderson Silva fight, I probably would have said he’s a little overhyped. Israel Adesanya convinced me that he’s for real on Saturday night. That was exactly the kind of fight that separates champions from pretenders. He was in trouble early on and down on the cards for most of the fight. Adesanya was able to persevere, change up his game, and improve his output as the fight went on. Like it or not, Israel Adesanya has arrived and he’s likely here to stay.


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