Izzy lost his middleweight title at UFC 293 as Strickland secured a massive shock. He dropped Adesanya in the first round and continued to walk him down on his way to a unanimous decision win. After the loss, Adesanya chose to take a break from the sport.
This prevented a Strickland rematch, as the American will now face Dricus Du Plessis at UFC 297 on January 20, 2024. A trilogy with Alex Pereira also failed, as the Brazilian will likely stay at light heavyweight after becoming a two-division champion. He had initially entertained a move back down to middleweight. Adesanya has fought five times since 2022, so he is only willing to return for the best fights.
“Like I said, four fights in 14 months. I know I’m on the back end of my career. I know when I’m done with this, I’m going to miss it. So I was trying to do as much as I can. Then I realized it’s not about quantity, it’s about quality. I’m still going to enjoy this. When I fight, I know I’ll fight (this year). I don’t know when I’m going to fight, but when I fight, it’s going to be quality. It’s not going to be quantity,” Adesanya
Izzy could face the winner of Strickland-Du Plessis, especially if the South African wins. They were on course to meet each other, only for Adesanya to lose to Strickland. Outside of that, Adesanya may need to work himself back into contention for a world title.
I think Its gotta start with him reclaiming the 185 division…if he goes to 205 again to face Alex and he wins people will say he didnt earn that shot….i think hes got to get the 185 belt back then super fights from there to the end of his career as it should be
— Martin Louis The King Jr (@NFAKeemzus) January 9, 2024
Scared of @dricusduplessis
— Justin Fisher (@fadelessjustin) January 9, 2024
Than fight Alex at 300 he threw you the lob,
Adesanya Pereira 3 00
— Stitch. (@Stitchy3D) January 9, 2024