Israel Adesanya is now the UFC middleweight champion and one of the biggest stars in mixed martial arts — and former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley has taken notice.
Speaking on TMZ’s Hollywood Beatdown, Woodley shared his thoughts on Adesanya.
“To be honest, I think Israel is going to evolve into a star right underneath Conor McGregor,” Woodley said (transcript via MMA Fighting). “It’s hard to deny him. He fights crazy, he has great I.Q., he’s tough, he’s shown he can take punches, he’s with the sh*t, he’s gonna talk sh*t in the press conferences, his entrance was the best entrance we’ve ever seen in mixed martial arts – even when freaking Conor had a live music playing in the top, it superseded that in my opinion – [and] he’s getting better with time.”
Given the way Woodley speaks about Adesanya, it should come as no surprise that he’s interested in fighting him somewhere down the line. He believes Adesanya will soon have star power to rival that of Conor McGregor, and he would jump at the opportunity to share the cage with him.
“For me, I like fights that excite me,” Woodley said of a potential fight with Adesanya. “For me it’s like a respect thing, so if I can get in front of somebody like Carlos Condit or Robbie Lawler back in those days, that sh*t pumped me up. Israel is that guy. I know talent from a mile away, I know star power from a mile away. He, in the next two years, will be right underneath Conor McGregor.”
Adesanya is expected to defend his title opposite Paulo Costa in the new year. Woodley, meanwhile, has been linked to a January 18 fight with Leon Edwards, though the bout is not official yet.
Do you agree with Tyron Woodley’s comments on Israel Adesanya?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 10/28/2019.