The MMA world is still reacting to the massive upset at UFC 293: Adesanya vs. Strickland where we laid witness to No. 5 ranked Sean Strickland outclass and outstrike the reigning Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya. Not many people were expecting the result and Adesanya was certainly the last person to think his fight would've played out the way it did.
Sean Strickland got his moment in the cage after receiving his belt, but all eyes quickly turned towards the post-fight press conference where a room full of reporters awaited to hear what Adesanya had to say about his performance. In an extremely classy move, Adesanya gave a short remark and turned the mic over to head coach Eugene Bareman to speak on his behalf before returning back towards the locker room.
— UFC (@ufc) September 10, 2023
“I lost tonight, to the better man on the night. I just want to go be with people who care about me, my team, and they're waiting for me so I'm going to do that.”
Adesanya continued, “But, I will leave you in the capable hands…of Eugene Bareman. He'll handle this for the first time. I want to go chill, have some breakfast, be with my family, 'til next time.”
Eugene Bareman is the trainer and found of City Kickboxing in Auckland, New Zealand. His camps have produced world champions Israel Adesanya and Alexander Volkanovski, along with a whole crop of up-and-coming killers. Bareman cornered six separate fighters at UFC 293 and served as the voice for his star pupil following their main event loss.
Here is how Coach Eugene Bareman answers the question – “So just after this fight, how was the whole night for you, with all of your fighters so active?” pic.twitter.com/jNVooj3Swl
— AFeldmanMMA (@afeldMMA) September 10, 2023
“At the end of the day, we had six guys fighting, we had three guys lose, but we had three guys win, and that's something to be celebrated. Getting ourselves to this point and those three guys winning, that's why Israel's taking off, he's going to get to the after party.”
It's no secret that Bareman has seen great success out of his gym in Auckland. While many may scoff at a 3-3 record, there's a lot to say about the fact that half of the fight card was coached by Bareman in the corner. He's famously said that no one in the gym gets special treatment, not even Israel Adesanya. So it's clear that Adesanys wants to take this time and celebrate his teammates for all their hard work.
It was a very smart move by Bareman and Adesanya as the head coach continued answering questions in a calm and sophisticated manner. Adesanya will likely take some time away to rest and gauge his situation, but the work won't stop for Eugene Bareman as he continues to lead the Kiwi surge of upcoming talent.
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