On Friday afternoon, UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya posed a bold question on Twitter to his followers. “The Last Stylebender” wrote, “Would you guys be annoyed if I went up and grabbed the 205 belt real quick?”
Adesanya has made it clear he has intentions of moving up to the light heavyweight division but the middleweight champion has yet to confirm the timeline of the move.
Would you guys be annoyed if I went up and grabbed the 205 belt real quick… 😏 pic.twitter.com/GFCZ6TMpA7
— Israel Adesanya (@stylebender) October 9, 2020
Adesanya defended his title for the second time at UFC 253 on September 26 when he defeated Brazilian fighter Paulo Costa by second-round TKO. After the fight, The Last Stylebender expressed his interest in defending his middleweight belt against Jared Cannonier next.
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Cannonier is scheduled to fight former middleweight champ Robert Whittaker during UFC 254 on October 24 and the winner of the scrap will potentially be granted the shot against Adesanya.
In the co-main event of UFC 253, a new light heavyweight champion was crowned. Jan Blachowicz defeated Dominick Reyes via second-round TKO, earning the vacant belt in convincing fashion. Should The Last Stylebender decide to move up to light heavyweight and insert his name into the title picture, he will have to contend with the deadly power of Blachowicz.
Blachowicz Will Likely Be Scheduled to Defend His Belt Against the Winner of Thiago Santos & Glover Teixeira
If Adesanya wanted to try his hand at light heavyweight, the UFC would be hard-pressed not to offer him an immediate title shot. If The Last Stylebender doesn’t move up, Blachowicz’s first title defense will likely come against the winner of the fight between Thiago Santos and Glover Teixeira.
Santos currently sits at No. 1 in the light heavyweight division and Teixeira is at No. 3.
The two were supposed to fight last month, but after both fighters tested positive for COVID-19, the fight hasn’t happened. As per a report via ESPN, the UFC is targeting the bout for November 7.
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Adesanya Praised Darren Till’s Striking, Took ‘Inspiration’ From Him
In a recent interview with MMA Junkie, The Last Stylebender praised another potential opponent, England’s Darren Till. Till is coming off a closely contested decision loss to Whittaker, and before that, he defeated Kelvin Gastelum by decision.
“I love striking, and I love the way [Till] strikes,” Adesanya said via the outlet. “Very basic muay Thai, and I mean that with all respect, but also his clinch game and his elbow game is advanced, but he sticks to his basic muay Thai. His left kick, his left straight, the way he curves his left. Beautiful to watch and yeah I take inspiration from a guy like that just in a way who he is. ‘I don’t care, I don’t give an (expletive).’ That’s Darren Till. I take inspiration from that like yeah, don’t give an (expletive).
“When he fought Gastelum, it was (at UFC) 244 in New York, I think I was there live, he fought him and he said he didn’t care if he got knocked out and I was like that’s a dangerous man. I took inspiration from that because in my fight here as well, I’ve said I surrendered, I didn’t really care what happened after the fight. All I cared about was the fight and me staying true to myself and my style and not playing it too safe, but also not going too wild, but being balanced and being true to myself.”