Nigeria-born mixed martial arts fighter Israel Adesanya is feeling very confident ahead of his Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC) 236 fight against American Kelvin Gastelum in Atlanta on April 14.
With the UFC interim middleweight title on the line, this will be the biggest test Adesanya has faced so far in his mixed martial arts career and the 29-year-old New Zealander believes the Gastelum fight is like any other fight he has fought and he is ready to step into the octagon with the 27-year-old American.
Speaking to ANZSPORTS, Adesanya said: “Things are looking smooth, I feel good and I am tip-top shape.
“I feel confident – I feel very confident going into this fight.
“To be honest, since it’s a world title fight, a lot of people are projecting more of their own insecurities, like ‘oh are you ready of this?’ – I have been ready for all the other fights so I keep that same energy.
It’s just another fight – you take the belt away and it’s still me and Kelvin. The belt’s just a nice trophy you get at the end.”
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Adesanya has been on a seven-week training camp in Thailand at the renowned Tiger Muay Thai gym in Phuket and says his focus is on developing his style of fighting that has made his a global name in the sport.
“That’s what I focus on, my training and developing my craft. I don’t really focus on the opponent I have in hand, I just focus on what I am going to do.
“As I get better as a martial artist and as a fighter, I don’t have to worry about anyone else but me.”
Adesanya, regarded as one of the rising stars of the UFC, beat Brazilian legend Anderson Silva at UFC 234 in Melbourne, Australia in February.