Israel Adesanya repeatedly fell asleep during the “most boring fight ever” at UFC 274 when Rose Namajunas was outpointed by Carla Esparza.
Namajunas defended her strawweight title against Esparza last weekend with the champion losing her belt in a points defeat. Boos rained down on the fighters from fans in the arena who were left disappointed throughout the lacklustre five-round encounter.
UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya was reacting to the event from home with his friends but repeatedly fell asleep during the co-main event. He was awake for the start of the event but slowly started drifting off under a blanket with his eyes shutting. One of his friends promptly poked fun at him by asking what was the most boring title fight in the promotion’s history.
A picture was then added by the editor of the video from Adesanya’s title defence against Yoel Romero in which the Nigerian outpointed his rival back in 2020. Adesanya briefly woke up after being drawn into conversation by his friends but quickly fell back asleep before regaining his energy for the main event between Charles Oliveira and Justin Gaethje.
UFC president Dana White was also pictured being distracted away from the co-feature bout by watching Canelo Alvarez’s defeat to Dmitry Bivol in the boxing ring while cageside. White later admitted he “zoned out” during the fight and quickly shut down talks of any second meeting.
“It was a weird fight, it seemed like they didn’t want to engage,” White told reporters. “I think there was a total of six punches in the first round; it’s a tough one but it happens sometimes. I started zoning out halfway through it, so I don’t know [who won]. I don’t think anyone is clamouring for that rematch so we’ll have to think of something else.”
Do you think Rose Namajunas v Carla Esparza was the most boring UFC fight ever? Let us know in the comments section below
Esparza was crowned champion despite the bemused reaction of many inside the arena in Phoenix. Audible boos continued during both competitor’s post-fight interviews, with Namajunas revealing her disappointment at the final result. “I won that fight,” she said. “I struck to the strategy, I felt as if I landed more shots. I even took her down.
“None of her takedowns were significant or with any control time. I’d say she hit me with one good punch. I felt like I did the damage. I controlled the fight. I’m proud of myself because I stuck to my strategy. I’ve gotten my nose broken. I’ve stood there and shed blood in the octagon. I stuck to the strategy, and she didn’t really have any offence. She was whiffing at air the whole time. So, I thought I won.”
Excitement was later restored for Adesanya and those inside the arena, with the night’s main event ending in an explosive opening round with Oliveira choking out Gaethje to put himself in pole position to fight for a shot at the now-vacated title.