Israel Adesanya (24 – 3, 16 KO), who previously was one of the most active champions, has announced that he is taking a mini hiatus. Adesanya has reigned the Middleweight division twice, with his first reign including five title defenses, and his second reign sandwiched between two losses.
Adesanya last fought in September, when he lost his title to Sean Strickland via unanimous decision. In his recent form, that placed Adesanya at (1 – 2) in his last three fights and (4 – 3) in his last seven. He has fought in eleven fights since initially winning the interim title back in 2019.
During a recent interview on New Zealand radio, Izzy shared his intentions moving forward.
“Before this fight I was very like, ‘I know I’m on the back end of my career, so I want to do as many as I can because I know when I’m done with this, I’m going to miss it,” said Adesanya. “I’m trying to do as much as I can. But then after this fight, and again, 14 months and four fights, it’s not just the fights, it’s the training and everything.”
At 34 years old, Adesanya is one of the most recognizable names in the UFC and his performance in the octagon has led him to be one of the most successful fighters in recent memory. Despite that success, Adesanya pointed to factors like injuries leading to recent losses, though he intends to recalibrate and left us with a promise.
“Now I’m going to take time to look after myself, and I’m not going to fight for a long time. I’m definitely not going to retire because I know me — I’m not leaving like that. I know me. But if I did, I’m fine. I don’t need to prove anything else. But I know what I can do, and I know what I can change in my lifestyle to make my body adapt to where I need to be. I’m going to heal myself up. You won’t see me fight for a long time.”
“When I come back, run for the f—king hills,” declared Adesanya.
Jon Jones supports Izzy: ‘Always put YOU first’
UFC Heavyweight Champion, Jon Jones, voiced a vote of confidence in Izzy’s decision. The champ, who most recently participated in his own three-year hiatus prior to winning the heavyweight championship, shared the following on X.
Hey @stylebender I just want to let you know I support your decision to take a break from fighting. Taking those last three years off was one of the best decisions I’ve made. Always put YOU first brother. Protect your heart, protect your mimd & spirit. Proud of you Champ.
— BONY (@JonnyBones) October 15, 2023
Jones returns on November 11, at UFC 295, in an attempt to defend his belt against Stipe Miocic.