Israel Adesanya announces plans of returning to light heavyweight after UFC 281

By Susan Cox - November 11, 2022

Israel Adesanya has announced plans of returning to light heavyweight after UFC 281.

Jan Blachowicz, Israel Adesanya

UFC 281 features Israel Adesanya (23-1 MMA) vs Alex Pereira (6-1 MMA) in the middleweight main event tomorrow, Saturday, November 12th at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The title is on the line and Adesanya is confident he will retain the prize.

It is true that Pereira is 2-0 against Adesanya, but that was in kickboxing, not in the Octagon.  Adesanya will be defending his middleweight title for the sixth time, while Pereira will fight for gold in only his fourth fight for the UFC.

In speaking with reporters at UFC 281 media day, Adesanya shared his plans for the future (h/t MMAJunkie):

“I’ll lap the (middleweight) division again, and then I’ll go back up at some point just for my own – maybe a little bit of ego, but yeah, just because I can do it. It doesn’t have to be for the belt. Right now, other Paradigm (Sports) guy Jiri’s (Prochazka) got the belt, so let him do his thing. I just like testing myself. Again, there’s heavyweight. I’m not saying I can beat every 205 guy or every f**king heavyweight, but they’ll have problems with me. And yeah, there’ll be times when (coach) Eugene (Bareman) might say, ‘Take that guy out.’ And I’m like, ‘Who? What? All right, bet.’ And I’ll take them out.”

It was back in March of 2021 at UFC 259 that Adesanya lost his one and only fight in the Octagon against then champion Jan Blachowicz (29-9 MMA) in the light heavyweight main event.

Adesanya, 33, is the betting favourite going into this weekend, but many believe this could be his most challenging test to date.

Who are you betting on this weekend? Would you like to see ‘The Last Stylebender’ make a return to light heavyweight status or make a debut at heavyweight in the future?

Share your thoughts in the comment section PENN Nation!

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