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Coach Eugene Bareman explains why criticism of Israel Adesanya’s UFC 276 win ‘matters zero to me’

Israel Adesanya’s head coach Eugene Bareman did see some flaws in the middleweight champ’s most recent title defense against Jared Cannonier at July’s UFC 276 event, but it didn’t change that the performance was still one-sided and sensational all-around.

Adesanya will headline Saturday’s UFC 281 fight card at Madison Square Garden as he defends his title against longtime foe — and two-time past kickboxing opponent — Alex Pereira.

In regards to the fan’s criticism of Adesanya’s dominant decision win to cap off International Fight Week, Bareman couldn’t care less.

“Other people’s expectations matters zero to me, it matters zero to the team, and it matters to Israel a little bit, more than it should,” Bareman said on The MMA Hour. “There was some stuff going on there and we had a plan to mount more offense than we did, and we tried to press it on Israel during that fight, and we weren’t able to come together in the corner with our ideas and his ideas [coming] together.

“That’s what we need to work on. That’s what I got out of that fight — we need to figure out the reasons why our ideas weren’t able to come together and you weren’t able to press on with more offense. But that’s got nothing to do with what other people think and I think, at the end, he was disappointed in that he couldn’t translate what we planned to do in that cage that night.”

While the performance wasn’t exactly what Bareman had in mind for Adesanya, the City Kickboxing head coach still gives a lot of credit to his fighter. All in all, Bareman — like most — expected Cannonier to be much more aggressive in the fight. He wasn’t, and the bout played out the way that it did.

“We still managed to get across what we needed in terms of winning that fight,” Bareman said. “When I look back at that fight, I still think it was a masterful fight. What I was surprised about was I thought Cannonier would definitely put himself at risk more. He became very, very conservative.

“It’s easy for me to say that, but it’s a lot harder to be in that cage and be on the receiving end of Israel’s range and just be like, ‘I’m going to start moving forward.’ It’s obviously a lot harder than people give it credit.”

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UFC 281: Adesanya vs. Pereira live stream watch party at 9:45 p.m. ET

UFC 281: Adesanya vs. Pereira live stream watch party

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