Monday, August 15, 2022

Middleweight champion Israel Adesanya claps back at actor Chris Pratt after UFC 276 critique, Pratt apologizes

UFC middleweight Israel Adesanya and actor Chris Pratt had an unexpected exchange in the aftermath of UFC 276. Adesanya defended his title against Jared Cannonier in a fight that was panned by fans, fighters and at least one Hollywood A-lister.

Pratt was among those critical of Adesanya’s performance at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on July 2. Pratt was mindful that he is not a fighter but argued that Adesanya’s output did not justify his pre-game trash talk.

“I’m going to say this as humbly as I can — I’ve never stepped into the Octagon,” Pratt said. “I don’t know this game. I’m just an actor, but I’m not a fan, man. 

“I’m not a fan of coming out [with] all that talk and then just kind of putting on a little bit of a pitter-pat [performance]. I’m like, ‘C’mon, man.’ You’ve got to cash on that promise of being so badass.”

Adesanya appeared to respond to Pratt on Wednesday. The two were on the same page about one thing: Pratt is a fan.

“Good morning,” Adesanya tweeted alongside a video of Pratt in the 2008 film “Wanted” opposite James McAvoy. “I’m the man. You’re just some fan.”

In the scene, McAvoy’s character whacks Pratt across the face with a keyboard — bloodying his mouth.

Pratt apologized to Adesanya in a direct reply to the tweet.

“You’re right,” Pratt wrote. “I’m sorry brutha. It bugs me when people criticize my work — having never themselves risked anything. It makes me a hypocrite to do exactly that to you. My bad. Keep on keeping on champ.”

Adesanya (23-1) is one of the pound-for-pound best fighters in MMA and the reigning UFC middleweight champion. He is undefeated at 185-pounds — having successfully defended his crown against Cannonier, Robert Whittaker, Marvin Vettori, Paulo Costa and Yoel Romero. “The Last Stylebender” has also defeated the legendary Anderson Silva.

Pratt, one of the more sought-out Hollywood talents of the last 10 years, is a big MMA fan. The actor has trained at Jay Glazer’s Unbreakable gym in Los Angeles and has been coached in wrestling by former UFC two-division champion Randy Couture. Pratt has been spotted at numerous combat sports events and is close friends with Bellator fighter Adel Altamimi.

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