Dana White Says Israel Adesanya Will Challenge For UFC Light Heavyweight Title
UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya will be vying for “champ-champ” status.
Adesanya was last seen in action back in September. He scored a second-round TKO victory over Paulo Costa to successfully retain his gold. Many assumed that Adesanya would be facing the winner of Robert Whittaker vs. Jared Cannonier, which took place last month. While Whittaker won the fight, Adesanya’s next bout will not be a middleweight title defense.
During the UFC Vegas 12 post-fight press conference, UFC President Dana White told reporters that Adesanya will challenge Jan Blachowicz for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship next (h/t MMAJunkie.com).
“Listen, when the fight was over on ‘Fight Island,’ the last fight (at UFC 254), I was like, ‘I’m going to have to sit down with this kid (Adesanya) and convince him on why he needs to fight Whittaker,’” White said. “Whittaker comes out and says he doesn’t want to fight him – craziest (expletive) I’ve ever seen. Yeah, there’s no arguing with Israel now. I thought Whittaker deserved the shot and Whittaker doesn’t want it, so yeah, we’ll let him do it.”
Adesanya’s stardom is on the rise and adding another UFC title to his mantle would certainly be a huge feather in his cap. Up to this point, Adesanya has amassed a pro MMA record of 20-0. Along the way, he’s scored 15 wins via knockout or TKO.
Blachowicz captured the 205-pound gold back on September 27 at UFC 253. He scored a second-round TKO victory over Dominick Reyes in a vacant UFC Light Heavyweight Title fight.