Israel Adesanya is not known for his submissions, but he has definitely been working on it.
Adesanya became the undisputed middleweight champion at UFC 243 last month when he knocked out Robert Whittaker in the second round of their headliner.
Coming from a kickboxing background, “The Last Stylebender” is naturally one of the best strikers in the sport today. He has dropped three of his last four opponents and also shown exceptional takedown defense in his seven-fight UFC career.
But that doesn’t mean we haven’t seen a submission threat from him. After all, in his five-round war with Kelvin Gastelum, Adesanya actually attempted a standing guillotine as well as a triangle choke. But certain mistakes — which can be viewed in the video below — allowed Gastelum to escape.
That won’t be the case anymore, at least.
Adesanya recently posted an image of himself and UFC light heavyweight Misha Cirkunov training together and stated he had already learned a few things.
It’s hard to see that not being the case, especially with Cirkunov’s submission game. He owns submission wins via inverted triangle choke, armbar, neck crank, arm-triangle and most recently against Jimmy Crute, a Peruvian necktie.
And Adesanya claims to have that in his repertoire now.
“I worked with Misha Cirkunov. He came to the gym, he worked with us,” Adesanya told Luke Thomas recently. “You should feel my Peruvian necktie now. He’s got some stuff on long, rangy guys. I had a D’Arce set up. I was going to hit Kelvin with it at the last 10 seconds [of the fifth round at UFC 236] but then I decided to take his back and punch him till he got dropped.
“But he [Cirkunov] showed me a D’Arce that’s as tight as a motherf***er, but my Peruvian necktie and I’m catching it like crazy. I’m a good copycat ninja. I see and I do. Monkey see, monkey do.”
Maybe we’ll end up seeing Adesanya’s new tricks in the near future, especially if his future fights hit the ground.