Former UFC heavyweight, Brendan Schaub, has weighed in with his opinion in regards is Israel Adesanya’s failed attempt at becoming a two-division champion.
Adesanya came short at UFC 259 when attempting to take on light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz. The fight was a close affair early on, but as they entered the championship rounds Blachowicz implemented his wrestling to dominate ‘The Last Stylebender.’
On the Below The Belt podcast, Brendan Schaub discussed Adesanya’s loss. Rather than capitalize on his failure, Schaub praised Adesanya for daring to be great. He had the following to say:
“I’m not gonna come on here and s**t on Izzy, like I’m sure a lot of the world is doing right now. I like guys that dream like Izzy. I like guys that try to do the impossible. And when they don’t achieve that. When they shoot for the moon and land on the stars. I’m all for it man.”
“The narrative of Izzy being the middleweight champion, a light heavyweight champion in pusuit of Jon Jones, is f*****g amazing. And did he acheive that. No, he didn’t. So do we tear the guy down beacuse he lost to a guy who’s arguably 30lbs heavier. And a world champion at light heavyweight. And he’s never fought at light heavyweight before. Your not gonna get it out of me. What I think he’s doing is inspirational.”
Schaub states that Adesanya’s failed attempt at moving up should serve as a warning to other future two-division fighters. In that, a fighter’s style that may work in one weight division, may not be as effective in another.
“I think a lot of fighters should look at Izzy’s skillset and realize that when you jump up those weight classes, even though you have more of a skillset, it doesn’t always translate. So you can learn from this.”
The Future of the 185lb Division
It is unclear whom Adesanya will face next, although he will likely face a top 5 contender at 185lbs. Schaub does not believe there is anyone in that division who can stand a chance against him.
“You don’t think he’s the best 185er on the planet? Your out of your f*****g mind. Just to see what he did to Jan early in those rounds until he got taken down is amazing. So if I’m an 85er I’m gonna be a little alarmed. He’s gonna knock you guys out.”
Adesanya will likely face off against either the winner of Paulo Costa vs Robert Whittaker or Darren Till vs Marvin Vettori next. Kevin Holland is also a name that may be in the mix should he defeat Derek Brunson at UFC Vegas 22.