Israel Adesanya explains how taking a hiatus was “definitely” the best move for his UFC career: “I’ve got more patience now, more clarity”

By Harry Kettle - July 8, 2024

UFC star Israel Adesanya has explained how his hiatus from the promotion was the best thing he could’ve done for his career.

Israel Adesanya training

Last September, Israel Adesanya lost his UFC middleweight championship to Sean Strickland. Following the defeat, ‘Stylebender’ made it clear that he was planning on taking a hiatus from active competition. However, nobody really knew how long this break would last.

RELATED: Israel Adesanya opens up on decision to take UFC hiatus: “I missed the beast”

As it turns out, it’s lasted just under a year. He’ll make his return next month at UFC 305 as he prepares to challenge Dricus du Plessis for the belt at 185 pounds.

In a recent interview, Adesanya spoke candidly about that decision and what’s next for him.

Adesanya reflects on hiatus

The hiatus was definitely needed,” he told Sias Du Plessis. “Because physically, mentally, even spiritually, I just needed a break from not just the fights but from the training camps and the constant rigmarole we put our bodies through as warriors. So it was good for me to just unplug from the game.”

“I’ve learned a lot in the time I’ve been away. I’ve always been a patient guy if you’ve actually paid attention to what I’m doing, but I’ve got more patience now, more clarity. And I’m sure of what I wanna achieve in this this last chapter of my game.”

“I’m the two-time UFC middleweight champion,” he said. “To make it three times, that’ll be nice, but it’s not really the main goal. For me, it’s about beating warriors from different codes, different nations, great fighters like Dricus, take them out, put them on my record, and move on to the next one until I’m done. That’s what it’s about.”

“The belt, it was always like, yeah, definitely be a UFC champ, but to get there was more the journey. I was just enjoying beating people up. So I’m back there. I’m just gonna enjoy beating people up and the belt will come, and it’ll stay. And eventually I’ll let it go.”

Quotes via MMA Mania

Will Israel Adesanya win back the crown at UFC 305? Let us know, BJPENN Nation!

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