Undefeated UFC middleweight contender Israel Adesanya does not want to see the promotions 185-pound division held up by injured champ Robert Whittaker.
Whittaker was supposed to defend his UFC middleweight championship against Kelvin Gastelum in the main event of UFC 234 this past weekend in Australia.
Unfortunately for fight fans, Whittaker was forced to pull out of the title fight just hours before the event, this after he suffered a collapsed bowel that required immediate surgery.
With that, the slated UFC 234 co-main event bout between Israel Adesanya and Anderson Silva was bumped up to event headliner status.
Adesanya would go on to defeat the former UFC middleweight kingpin, Silva, via unanimous decision.
Now a perennial top contender at 185-pounds, Israel Adesanya is not in the mood for waiting around and says the division must move on.
“Honestly, you know when Dominick Cruz kept hurting himself and got surgery after surgery after surgery? The UFC stripped him, and this is another one of those,” Adesanya told MMAjunkie Radio. “This isn’t the first time this has happened or second time with Robert. This is ongoing. He’s hurt, he’s out for much longer and he’s hurt again, then has a fight and is out for this long. You can’t hold up the whole division. My idea is strip him, take the belt off him, and me and Kelvin fight for the real belt. Then when he’s all healed up and 100 percent, he can come see me and challenge for the belt.”
Israel Adesanya, who has recently turned his focus to Kelvin Gastelum, believes the UFC will introduce another interim belt due to Whittaker’s absence.
“I’m sure they’ll try to put an interim thing in there, but the interim thing is just like a little bandaid,” Israel Adesanya said. “They throw it on anything. (Expletive) an interim belt. Guys are constantly not making it to work, so just strip him and he’ll be the No. 1 contender and eventually he can come see me. I’m fresh. … You’ll probably see me and Kelvin pretty soon.”
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