Israel Adesanya Shoots Down Claims Yair Rodriguez’s Upward Elbow KO Was Lucky

Israel Adesanya is known to be one of the deadliest and most creative strikers in the UFC and on Saturday night he was left impressed after watching another top-flight stand-up talent Yair Rodriguez pull of an audacious upward elbow knockout in the very last second of his fight against The Korean Zombie at UFC Fight Night 139.

Speaking to Fightful, Adesanya noted that even some fighters have been suggesting that Rodriguez’s strike was just luck, but he believes it was actually Rodriguez’s natural fighting instincts at work.

“That was crazy,” Adesanya said. “And I’m seeing a lot of people saying that that was lucky, that was a lucky knockout… like, really smart people who, that are like legends of the game. Literally, the example that they gave was, ‘well, he threw it twice beforehand. He threw it twice beforehand and failed. So this time he got it,’ and I’m saying it’s instinct, it’s timing and knowing where the head is gonna be — not where it is, where it’s gonna be. And his argument was, ‘ah, well he threw it twice beforehand and failed. Was that instinct and timing as well?’

“My counter-argument is, hey, look… even against Brad Tavares in the beginning of the first round, I was throwing my jab, throwing my jab, throwing my jab. I wasn’t landing it. And then eventually, from the second round, I bloodied up his face with my jab. And I started connecting my two. That’s not luck, that’s not luck. That is timing, that is trial and error, that is readjustment and resetting.”

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