Israel Adesanya had a 2018 to remember. The middleweight wasn’t even in the UFC to begin the year and then rattled over four straight wins over top competition. He went from unranked to a legitimate title contender in a matter of a few months.
Adesanya’s coming out party of sorts was at UFC 230 when he steamrolled through Derek Brunson by winning by TKO in the first round. It was a masterful performance and showed Adesanya was here to stay. Now, at UFC 234 Adesanya gets to fight the former champion, Anderson Silva. With a win, there is no question, Adesanya will be getting the next title shot.
When he does get a title shot, he knows the UFC wants him to be the champion.
“I don’t know about rather, but for the company, it’s in their best interest if I was the champion,” Adesanya told Submission Radio. “Because I play the game well, I know how to do all this sh*t. And I know that with the belt comes extra responsibility, so I’ll be able to take on those roles, and with my management team as well, like, work out what we need to do with the UFC to play ball. So yeah, I wouldn’t say they’re hoping, I think for the best interest of the company it’d be in their best interest to have me as champion to move the whole sport forward better.
“Not just in this part of the world but all over the world. I’m Mr. worldwide, I’ve been all over the world. I’m able to connect with so many different people from all walks of life. And Rob, he’s a great champion. He’s the darkhorse of all champions. He’s the most underrated champion in UFC history because he doesn’t play the game as well as I can. And I’m talking fighting, I’m talking everything around it. But you have to realize, this all comes with it when it comes to prizefighting.”
If Robert Whittaker and Adesanya both win, it sets themselves up for an Australian vs New Zealand title fight promo. Ultimately, according to Adesanya that is the UFC’s goal and they want him to win.