UFC president, Dana White believes Israel Adesanya still has a couple of more title defenses at middleweight before he cleans the division out.
When Adesanya moved up in weight to light heavyweight to face Jan Blachowicz for the belt, many thought “The Last Stylebender” had cleared out the division. He already has beaten the likes of Robert Whittaker, Paulo Costa, Marvin Vettori, Kelvin Gastelum, and Derek Brunson among others. However, as Adesanya is set to rematch Vettori in the main event of UFC 263, White believes Adesanya still has work to do at 185lbs.
“It’s not true though. I mean, that’s what people were saying about Anderson Silva for years. ‘Oh god, what’s next? Who’s next?’ There’s always somebody next,” White said to Submission Radio (via MMAMania). “Believe me, there’s gonna be somebody that’s gonna have an amazing performance here in the next several months that people will be going, ‘Oh god, we gotta see them and Israel now’. To completely clean out a division, he’s still got some time.”
The only person in the top-five that Adesanya hasn’t beat is Jared Cannonier. After that, in the top-10, it’s just Jack Hermansson, Darren Till, Uriah Hall, and Edmen Shahbazyan. With that, White says Cannonier makes a lot of sense assuming Adesanya gets past Vettori and Whittaker again.
“Let’s see what happens with Jared Cannonier. Believe me, there’s still a lot of great fights for him,” White said.
Israel Adesanya, as mentioned, is coming off his first career loss to Jan Blachowicz for the light heavyweight title. Prior to that, he had a dominant performance over Paulo Costa as he scored a TKO win to defend his belt for the second time after he earned a lackluster decision to Yoel Romero back in March of 2020. He already has beaten Vettori as well as he earned a split decision win back in 2018.
Cole Shelton covers MMA for BJPenn.com, MMANews, and MyMMANews.com while also being the lead MMA odds writer for Sports Betting Dime