When Israel Adesanya humiliated Derek Brunson at Madison Square Garden

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As he approaches his second New York appearance, it’s time to take a look back at when Israel Adesanya fought for the first time in Madison Square Garden.

In his first two years with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Israel Adesanya managed to pull off an insane 7-0 run. His amazing activity, combined with his impressive skills inside the Octagon, made him a true force to be reckoned with at 185 pounds.

It didn’t take long for him to become UFC middleweight champion, and to this day, it’s a position he still maintains.

The man known as ‘Stylebender’ had to wade through an assortment of riches in the division in order to finally get a title shot and in November 2018 one of his biggest tests came in the form of a collision with Derek Brunson.

Read more: Derek Brunson responds to Israel Adesanya’s Anderson Silva endorsement

One of the main talking points before the fight was, in short, that Brunson was a big talker and that Adesanya matched him in the slang department with Derek thinking Izzy was overrated.

Video: Israel Adesanya humiliates Derek Brunson

Every interaction they had seemed quite hostile and at UFC 230 they finally came to blows – and the fight didn’t even last a round.

Brunson’s wrestling prowess was something that was always seen as a problem for the rising New Zealand star. Alas, it ultimately didn’t matter, largely because Adesanya was at his best as a true sniper on the feet.

He only finished two of his nine fights after seeing off Brunson which, in many ways, served as Adesanya’s coming out party.

He would go on to fight his idol Anderson Silva in Australia and for the rest of 2019 he was busy winning the interim and undisputed titles against Kelvin Gastelum and Robert Whittaker.

The next big step

In less than two weeks, Israel Adesanya will return to the Brunson crime scene with another Madison Square Garden showcase — four years after his last.

This time around, he will defend the UFC middleweight championship he has held for three years when he takes on Alex Pereira.

Read more: UFC 281: Fight Card, Tickets, Live Stream, MSG and more

“Poatan” has already fought and defeated Adesanya twice in his kickboxing days, but in mixed martial arts very few know what to expect.

Either way, we should have a blast in New York.

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