‘The Game’s Not Over Yet’: Israel Adesanya Plans To Become Champ-Champ
Israel Adesanya is looking ahead, but not just at defending his middleweight title.
Adesanya (21-1) said he’s open to fighting for light heavyweight gold again. He previously lost in the division’s title fight against current champion Jan Blachowicz at UFC 259 – his first professional MMA loss.
But first, since he’s back down to middleweight, he will defend his middleweight title in a rematch against Robert Whittaker. The first time when Adesanya and Whittaker shared the octagon, Adesanya won via second-round knockout.
“The idea of lapping the division is what excites me; I want to do that. It’s not really about Whittaker. It’s about just over-lapping everyone. That excites me,” he said. “… he’s beating some tough guys — so to do it again like I did Vettori, to leave no doubt and just plant a flag in their head and let them know, ‘I own that. That’s mine.’”
After missing the opportunity to become the double champion, he was forced to defend his middleweight gold again. The last time he fought in the octagon, he defeated Italian fighter Marvin Vettori for the second time.
Even though Adesanya is defending his middleweight title for the second time in a row, he still expressed his desire to become champ-champ after losing his light heavyweight title bout. He says that the story is not over yet.
“There are ways that this can happen, so stay tuned,” Adesanya said. “I’m not a quitter. As I said, you’ve got to know when to hold them… there are many ways the story can be written, like one of them Goosebumps (choose your adventure) books.”
“… So like I said, the game’s not over, the story’s not finished yet.”
Adesanya is undefeated in the middleweight division, holding victories over names like Kelvin Gastelum, Anderson Silva, Derek Brunson, Vettori and Whittaker.