Fight Night

Israel Adesanya Names The Fight That He Wants After Defending Title Against Sean Strickland At UFC 293

Israel Adesanya is doing his best not to look past his upcoming fight against Sean Strickland, but the UFC middleweight champion has a pretty good idea of who he’d like to face next after UFC 293.

The 34-year-old’s reign as middleweight king was briefly interrupted when Alex Pereira won the belt at UFC 281, but Adesanya reclaimed his title at UFC 287 with a second-round knockout that marked his first victory over the Brazilian in their four fights across kickboxing and MMA.

Now set to meet Strickland in the main event of UFC 293, Adesanya admitted on his YouTube channel that he’s trying not to look past a challenger that’s currently a sizeable underdog heading into his first UFC title shot.

“I’m kind of just focused fully on what I’m doing right now,” Adesanya said. “I don’t wanna look too far ahead…I’m just focused on this guy, ‘cause I know when I peek around the corner – I still get it done. I’m very successful, but right now there’s no clear-cut anything.”

Israel Adesanya Names The Matchup He Wants After UFC 293 

Fans were hoping to see Adesanya settle things with #1-ranked Dricus Du Plessis at UFC 293, and as frustrated as the champion may be about that fight not coming together in Australia it’s still a matchup that he’d like to have next.

(Stephen R. Sylvanie/USA TODAY Sports)

“As much as I don’t wanna reward his stupidity for letting go of the opportunity, I do want that Dricus fight. I do want that Dricus fight, but I don’t wanna reward someone that just lets go of that opportunity, because I never let go of the opportunity when it was placed in my hands.

I feel like you have to really take the bull by the horns, you know? But yeah, that’s the fight – no bulls**t – I want because I feel like it could be the most important fight, or one of the most important fights in sporting history.”

“Stillknocks” is unbeaten since he joined the UFC in 2020, and at UFC 290 he picked up the biggest win of his career by stopping former champion Robert Whittaker in the second round. Du Plessis and Adesanya had an intense faceoff in the cage following that fight, but unfortunately the South African decided he wouldn’t be ready in time to compete at UFC 293.

No fan is going to argue with the prospect of seeing the two middleweights square off in the Octagon, but if that matchup is going to be booked then Adesanya will first have to defend his belt against Strickland this weekend. 

Read Also: Tai Tuivasa Gives Strong One Line Prediction For Israel Adesanya vs. Sean Strickland At UFC 293

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