Israel Adesanya Could Return To Light Heavyweight, Even Heavyweight, Says Manager

According to Simpson, Adesanya is capable of moving up one weight class, but he can also go up two and fight at heavyweight in near future.

Israel Adesanya
(via Israel Adesanya's Instagram page)

 There is no doubt that Israel Adesanya wants to surpass Anderson Silva as the greatest middleweight in the history of sports, but that does not mean he will never move up in weight classes.

Israel Adesanya isn’t closing the door on jumping back up to light heavyweight or heavyweight in the near future.

Israel Adesanya Could Return To Light Heavyweight, Heavyweight

Adesanya had a run at 205 pounds in the UFC back in 2021, when he aimed to become a dual-weight champion. However, he was bested by Jan Blachowicz via decision.

The loss was Adesanya’s first and only in mixed martial arts (MMA) competition. That loss hasn’t prevented him from dominating at his championship weight class of middleweight.

He’s currently on a three-fight win streak of title defenses. While he continues to dominate 185 pounds, that doesn’t mean his aspirations at 205 pounds have gone away. 

According to his manager, Tim Simpson, who tells MMA Junkie that Adesanya hasn’t closed the door on a return to light heavyweight, or even heavyweight for that matter.

“He’s mentioned he wants to go back up to 205,” Simpson said. “Obviously, the last time he came up short. But I think he would be very comfortable in that division again if that’s what he wants to do.

“It’s really up to him and Eugene (Bareman) on the athletic side. But I think he has business he wants to attend to at 185 first. He says he wants to fight everybody of his era in that weight class, which he almost has done.

“He wants to go down as the greatest of all-time in that division, and there’s opportunity to stay there and keep fighting.

“But the door’s open to light heavyweight, even heavyweight. He’s had success at heavyweight in kickboxing, too.”

At 185 pounds, Simpson already sees a couple potential opponents if Adesanya wins over Pereira and defends his title.

“Obviously, the Pereira fight is meaningful for the backstory they had in another sport, and there’s another few guys who have been real mainstays at middleweight that he wants on his resume, as well,” Simpson said. “I know he wants to make that Strickland fight. I know he wants to fight Jack Hermansson, who has been a perennial top-five guy for the past five years. There’s other names at middleweight.”

For now, Adesanya will prepare for his next title defense against Alex Pereira. The two former kickboxing foes will headline UFC 281 on pay-per-view (PPV) on November 12.

Published on August 24, 2022 at 10:41 am
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