Fan favorite and UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya is rapidly becoming the face of the UFC.
The Nigerian native has grown into his role as the UFC’s poster boy and his recent performances back his claim as the best fighter in the world.
At UFC 253, all eyes were on Adesanya as he put his middleweight title on the line against the dangerous Paulo Costa. Many believed that Costa could be the one to hand Adesanya the first loss in his MMA career, but that feeling didn’t last long. Adesanya dominated Costa in every aspect of the fight before brutally finishing him in the second round. If there were any doubters left, this performance certainly convinced them that “The last style bender” was indeed the real deal.
However, following this magnificent performance, Adesanya has made more noise for his shenanigans outside of the octagon, particularly his beef with Jon Jones. The two men have a storied rivalry dating back to before Adesanya was a champion, but they have been going at each other relentlessly in the past week. Jones is one of Adesanya’s future options, but he’s not the only one. The Kiwi called out Jared Cannonier saying that he would be willing to fight him if he beats Robert Whittaker at UFC 254. But there is someone else that hasn’t been mentioned as much in this discussion: former middleweight champion Chris Weidman.
Adesanya recently talked to MMA Junkie about this potential matchup and how he would fare against Weidman.
“It was a bit weird for me, but I already have him figured out, I have him figured out right down to how I’m going to take him out”. “Let him bring his double-leg, let him bring his single-leg, let him try and force me to the fence. He’s not gonna strike with me.”
“one thing that he has going good for him is, one thing he said before he knocked out Anderson Silva, at the weigh-ins, he looked at him dead in the eyes and said, ‘I’m not scared of you. I’m not scared of you.’ He said that over and over to him; I remember that.”
” These guys think this is a f*cking game to me. I’ve said it, I’ve been a fan, I’m still just a fan but being a fan, I studied this game back and forth, inside out, left to right, up and down. I know this f*cking game.”
“I remember, I told him “I look forward to fighting you one day” because I actually thought he would be at the top for a while, but… unfortunately he hasn’t been doing well lately. Not that he can’t comeback. Look at Jan Blachowicz, he came back and now he’s the champion. But yeah… I’m just saying I’ve studied these motherfuckers.”
He then added that Weidman would need to put a winning streak together if he wants a chance to fight him.
“Weidman already is done, that fight will end in the first round if it happens. But you gotta get some win first bro.”
Despite winning only 2 of his last 7 fights, Israel Adesanya doesn’t completely dismiss Chris Weidman. Adesanya studied his style as a fan and thinks he would handle him quite easily if Weidman managed to get back to the top of the division.