Israel Adesanya provided his assessment of the contenders in the middleweight division.
Adesanya is coming off a unanimous decision defeat to Jan Blachowicz at UFC 259 earlier this month. As a result, “The Last Stylebender” failed in his attempts to become a two-division champion while he also suffered his first professional defeat in the process.
He isn’t taking it too hard, however, as he now plans to return to the middleweight division and defend his title for a potential third successive time.
So who could potentially be next for him as a 185-pound mini-tournament currently gets set to take place?
“Not necessarily,” Adesanya told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani when asked if the guy who looked the best in the mini-tournament would get the next shot. “I feel like [Kevin] Holland’s going to take care of [Derek] Brunson. But again, Brunson’s been a spoiler like in his past fight with [Edmen] Shahbazyan. But Holland should take care of him quite easily. But he still has a long way to go. He just can’t beat Brunson and expect a title shot.
“[Darren] Till? Definitely if he wins, he gets a title shot. The Italian [Marvin Vettori]? Depends how he wins, depends on how he wins. And there’s also that story still — he still thinks he won the first fight. [laughs] He thinks he won the first fight! So stupid. Bellissimo. Anyway, depends how he wins.”
Adesanya: Till Top Of The List
Adesanya has long expressed his desire to face Till with the latter being reciprocative as he feels they are destined to fight each other.
And as far as the middleweight champion is concerned, Till is at the top of the list.
“Yeah, Scouser’s number one on the list,” Adesanya added. “But do your job, Till. You bum.”
Interesting, Adesanya ignored the fact that Robert Whittaker is taking on Kelvin Gastelum on April 17. One would imagine a win for Whittaker would get him a rematch with Adesanya next.