Brad Tavares hasn’t fought since he dropped a decision loss to Israel Adesanya. But, recently the longtime, middleweight contender outlined why he’s certain a rematch with the new interim champ would unfold differently.
Tavares faced Adesanya at the TUF 27 Finale last July, in what was the latter’s third fight with the UFC. The fight was understandably labelled as a striking fan’s delight heading into it, and Adesanya went on to outscore Tavares for the UD win.
Well, more recently Tavares spoke with MMA Junkie, While discussing his defeat to “The Last Stylebender”, the rugged vet revealed he had a broken foot heading into the contest:
“Put it this way: I went into that fight and I tried to box, just straight-up box, a badass professional kickboxer – a guy who’s been doing it years and has multiple fights,” Tavares said. “What does he have, like 80-something kickboxing fights? And he’s probably lost only like two, three? I don’t know. I know he has some crazy record, though. That’s the thing, I look at that fight and I’m like, ‘Hey, there’s things that – I know what went wrong there.’ And I’m not going to sit here and use my foot being broken as an excuse, you know. I tried to actually kick in that fight. I kicked him in his leg one time and my foot instantly blew up, swole up.
“I knew that, when I put it back down, I was like, ‘If I kick again there’s a chance that I can’t even stand on it.’ So kicking with the right leg is out of the question. And, for me, leg kicks and my kicks are one of the biggest parts of my game. But I was like, ‘You know what, let’s get through this, though. Let’s go box this guy.’ And didn’t end up working out in my favor. But, like you said, it makes me excited. Because I know I can beat that guy. I know what it takes and what I need to do to beat that guy, and he’s a champion now.”
So, Adesanya supporters and sure, even impartial observers, might argue that Tavares at his best, couldn’t defeat the new champ. But, it’s pretty hard to deny their fight would have gone differently, if Tavares had been able to throw kicks.
Tavares has also been sidelined for months after a broken arm he incurred in the aforementioned loss, wasn’t correctly diagnosed. Initially, Tavares was told the injury wouldn’t require surgery, which wasn’t the case. So, hopefully, the Hawaiian fighter is back in the Octagon sooner than later. Prior to facing Adesanya, the 31-year-old had won four in a row.