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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Farah Hannoun

Joe Rogan: Israel Adesanya handled UFC 281 loss ‘like a f*cking king,’ didn’t need to go ‘flat out unconscious’

Joe Rogan understands Israel Adesanya’s frustration with his loss to Alex Pereira, but agrees with the referee’s stoppage.

Up 3-1 on the judges’ scorecards in his title fight against Pereira at UFC 281, middleweight champ Adesanya (23-2 MMA, 12-2 UFC) was stopped in Round 5. It was a standing TKO finish for Pereira (7-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC), who had Adesanya rocked and badly hurt three minutes into the final frame.

Adesanya was stumbling, prompting referee Marc Goddard to stop the fight. “The Last Stylebender” immediately protested the result, but Rogan says there’s no need for him to take any more inevitable damage.

“I don’t think Pereira was gonna stop,” Rogan said in a recent episode of “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast. “He had more time, Izzy was stationary and Pereira was gonna hit him with some big shots. We don’t need to see Izzy with his eyes rolled back behind his head, flat out unconscious. I think it was a good stoppage.”

“I could see where he would be upset about it, too, and I could see where other fights have gone on longer. And they have, but it’s a subjective call and Marc Goddard is one of the very best in the world. He’s top two or three. He might be No. 2. I think Herb Dean’s No. 1 and ‘Big’ John McCarthy doesn’t ref anymore, he was always in that same spot.”

Rogan lauded Adesanya for the way he handled the loss, saying he did do “better than anybody ever.” Adesanya showed up to the post-fight news conference and has made numerous podcast appearances since to address the fight.

“Like a f*cking king, like a king,” Rogan said on Adesanya. “He was saying bring back Steve Mazzagatti because Steve Mazzagatti was a referee that was famous for letting fights go way too long… Mazzagatti was kind of famous for that for whatever reason, whether it’s justified or not, but it was just hilarious that Izzy was saying bring back Steve Mazzagatti.

“Then he went on Andrew Schulz’s podcast on Monday, so he was on Schulz’s podcast Monday, they were drinking, having fun. He handled it very, very well… it’s f*cking the game they play man. I mean, Izzy knocked a lot of f*cking people unconscious. Izzy put it on everybody in the division.”

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