Israel Adesanya is a star in the making. He had a coming out party of sorts when he defeated Derek Brunson at UFC 230 in the first round. He went from unknown to a legitimate title contender in the UFC, in just a matter of months. The 29-year-old went undefeated with a record of 4-0 this year in the UFC and should be the breakout fighter of the year.
Although that is good, Adesanya isn’t pleased. He knows he can do better, and to do better, Adesanya needs to face the champion in Robert Whittaker. Once they do indeed fight, it will be a New Zealander versus an Australian, a fight that should take place in either country. No matter where the fight takes place, Adesanya knows he can defeat Whittaker.
“I beat him wherever I want,” Adesanya told Fox Sports Australia. “If I’m being frank, Rob is lacking defensively and that’s where I’ll take him. And I can do that any way I want. I know he’s a fighter who wants to go out there and bust people up, but I’m not a guy you mess with.”
Adesanya has the making to be a future star in the UFC. ‘The Last Stylebender’ has the fighting skill to be a champion and the trash-talking ability to sell PPV’s, something the UFC desires.
“Once I’m champion, there will be a lot more eyes on this division. I’m the guy making s**t happen,” Adesanya added.
Ultimately, Adesanya is a force to be reckoned with in the middleweight division and could cause problems for years. He is asking for a title shot, but with Kelvin Gastelum set to fight Whittaker, he may need one more win. As for who his next fight will be, or when it will be, Adesanya and the UFC matchmakers already know.
“We discussed my next fight and reached an agreement on who that opponent should be,” he said. “So now I’m just waiting for the ‘OK’.”
A logical fight would be against Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza, for a title eliminator fight. If that is indeed the fight, Adesanya will have another tough test coming his way. But if history shows anything, Adesanya is ready.