Israel Adesanya Plans To Return To Light Heavyweight
Adesanya tried to become a double champion in March 2021.
Israel Adesanya hasn’t given up.
The UFC middleweight champion revealed that he still wants to redeem himself from his failed bid at light heavyweight.
“I’ll lap the division again, and then I’ll go back up at some point just for my own – maybe a little bit of ego, but yeah, just because I can do it,” Adesanya told reporters at media day.
“It doesn’t have to be for the belt.
“Right now, other Paradigm (Sports) guy Jiri’s (Prochazka) got the belt, so let him do his thing. I just like testing myself. Again, there’s heavyweight. I’m not saying I can beat every 205 guy or every f–king heavyweight, but they’ll have problems with me. And yeah, there’ll be times when Eugene (Bareman) might say, ‘Take that guy out.’ And I’m like, ‘Who? What? All right, bet.’ And I’ll take them out.”
But current light heavyweight champion Jiri Prochazka said he isn’t interested in facing Adesanya in the octagon.
“I’m not interested in this fight, because we share management and the people around,” Procházka said. “I respect him.”
Adesanya has tasted defeated just once in his pro MMA career, and that was against then-champion Jan Blachowicz in March 2021 in an attempt to become double champion.
But, aside from that, Adesanya has defended his middleweight strap five consecutive times. He won the title from Kelvin Gastelum in April 2019 by unanimous decision.
Now, Adesanya must get past former kickboxing rival Alex Pereira in his sixth title defense on Saturday at Madison Square Garden.