On Saturday night, in UFC 263's main event, Israel Adesanya successfully defended his UFC middleweight title, defeating Marvin Vettori in a unanimous decision. Adesanya delivered a clinic in mixed martial arts, but the lesson he gave in his post-fight interview may be even more powerful.
According to Adesanya, immediately after the fight, Vettori said that he believed he actually won the fight. But in the post-fight interview, Adesanya outlined exactly why an unwillingness to embrace a loss is a recipe for failure in life.
After his last loss, Adesanya said, "Certain people in my camp thought I won that fight, but I was just like, nah, it was close, but I'll take the 'L' from that one and I will grow. I will learn."
He continued, "How you grow is you learn from your mistakes. You go back to the drawing board and you improve. You become better from them. Loss is a part of life. Losses make you better. Just, I don't know where this whole mentality comes from that, oh, you took a loss and oh, that's it, you're over. But nah, it's part of life. Take it and let it improve you."
While Adesanya is clearly a physically gifted fighter, he also displays a remarkably growth-oriented and resilient mindset. Rather than shirking from his defeat, he embraced it head-on, seeing it as an impetus for improvement. And not only did he embrace the loss, he actually pushed back against his inner circle to ensure that they knew he was leaning into his defeat.