After Robert Whittaker’s dominant win over Jared Cannonier last week, many assumed he would be the next opponent to take on UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya.
However, it appears the Nigerian-born Kiwi is uninterested in a Whittaker rematch and the challenges posed to him at 185 pounds.
Dana White tells @bokamotoESPN that @stylebender will challenge @JanBlachowicz for the UFC light heavyweight title in his next fight, with a date and location still to be determined. pic.twitter.com/ENrcpECAyJ
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) November 1, 2020
On Saturday night, UFC President Dana White confirmed that Adesanya will be moving up to the light heavyweight division to take on champion Jan Blachowicz next.
“He and I met yesterday. Had a great time, had a great meeting,” White said of Adesanya to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto. “I was adamant on him fighting [Robert] Whittaker for the title; it’s the thing that makes the most sense. And then Whittaker comes out after the fight and says he doesn’t want to fight him, which is wacky.
“But OK. Then he’ll move up to 205 and fight Jan.”
As of now, no date or location has been set for Adesanya’s attempt at winning a second UFC championship. However, White did confirm that “The Last Stylebender” won’t have to vacate his middleweight title if he does take on Blachowicz next.
“I don’t think he has to vacate his belt to do it. Israel Adesanya is a guy who wants to stay busy, wants to fight,” White added. “He wants to challenge himself against the best.
“Let’s not forget: He fought Yoel Romero when he didn’t have to. We didn’t want him to fight Yoel Romero; it didn’t make sense. It made sense to him because he said ‘Everybody thinks he’s one of the toughest dudes in the world and I want to fight him.’ You know how much I love that stuff. Israel has really made all the right choices in everything that he’s done. The kid wants to fight the best and do things that nobody else has done.”