We were stoked to have the Last Stylebender Israel Adesanya in the studio last week to chat UFC 287, his defeat, training, and much more.
Somewhere in the chat, Izzy talked about dealing with backlash from fellow competitors and other critics, and said one thing he learnt through therapy is to not react.
“That’s one thing if I tell anybody - don’t react, respond,” Izzy said.
“That’s one of the things I learnt through therapy that really benefited me. A lot of men, even in this day and age, they just react. Something happens, they go tweet about it or they go stab someone, or they get into a fight and they hurt themselves.
“Just don’t react - take your time. Internalise that emotion and respond.”
Mulls told Izzy that it’s “so cool” that he does therapy, saying: “Because a lot of people think Israel Adesanya, super confident, you know, world class champion fighter, but you take the time to do therapy because it helps you be a better fighter, not just a better person?”
“Just better all over,” Izzy responded.
Izzy went on to say that he feels like he’s entering “the best years of his life.”
“Literally, I feel like this year, I’m rolling into the best years of my life with who I am as a person, how sure I am of myself.
“I’ve even taken stock of the people around me and just made sure like ‘who’s really rowing the boats? Am I the only one rowing the boat? Who’s helping me row the boat?'
“So yeah, I feel like I’m rolling into the best years of my life and that’s all, a lot of the work through self analysation but also through therapy, and the tools I’ve learnt through therapy that I still use to this day.”
“You know as well as anybody else, it can be real tough being a young New Zealander,” Bryce said.
“Yeah, facts,” Izzy responded. “[It’s important] even just having someone to talk to, a safe space to talk [in].”
Izzy then mentioned the importance of being both strong and soft, referencing the Jordan Peterson quote, “You should learn how to be a monster, and then learn how to control it.”
He said, “A lot of people try to be virtuous and say ‘I’m just a nice person’, it’s like no, you have to learn how to be a monster and I feel like men need to be men, but learn how to control it, learn how to internalise it, learn how to be also a lamb when you need to be.
“‘Cause sometimes being a monster isn’t going to help you in every situation."
He continued, “A lot of these men feel invalidated in themselves, they have to flex and I’m like, as long as you know who you are, fuck everybody else.”
Have a watch of the full chat with the Last Stylebender up top.