Israel Adesanya looks more and more like a future UFC middleweight title challenger with every passing fight. In fact, after his UFC 230 execution of long-time contender Derek Brunson, his fighting for the title in the near future looks less like a likelihood and more like a downright certainty.
The UFC middleweight title is currently held by Australia’s Robert Whittaker. Provided Whittaker defeats his next challenger Kelvin Gastelum, who he’ll meet at UFC 234 in late January, he could easily find himself locked in the cage with the Nigerian Kiwi Israel Adesanya soon thereafter.
While Whittaker is looking increasingly like a dominant champion, Adesanya believes he’s already unearthed the secret to beating him.
“I beat him wherever I want,” Adesanya told Fox Sports Australia recently. “If I’m being frank, Rob is lacking defensively and that’s where I’ll take him. And I can do that any way I want.
“I know he’s a fighter who wants to go out there and bust people up, but I’m not a guy you mess with,” he added.
If Israel Adesanya is able to capture the UFC middleweight title, he believes he will thrust the division to new and unprecedented levels of popularity.
“Once I’m champion, there will be a lot more eyes on this division,” he said. “I’m the guy making s*** happen.”
Given that Whittaker doesn’t fight Gastelum until January, Israel Adesanya realizes that he will probably have to take another fight in the interim. And apparently, he already has an opponent for this next fight.
“We discussed my next fight and reached an agreement on who that opponent should be,” Adesanya said. “So now I’m just waiting for the ‘OK’.”
Do you think Israel Adesanya is a future UFC middleweight title challenger? If so, could he be the man to dethrone Robert Whittaker? Join the debate in the comments section below.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 11/14/2018.