Israel Adesanya Says He’ll Win “Anyway I Want”
Coming off a statement victory at UFC 230, in which he knocked out Derek Brunson (#8 middleweight, according to UFC.com), Israel Adesanya sought to establish himself as a legitimate contender for the middleweight belt. His victory inside the octagon spoke to his fighting ability, while his words after the fight demonstrated his brash confidence in himself.
During a post-fight interview with FOX Sports Australia, Adesanya didn’t mince words while identifying the fighter he’s gunning for, who also happens to be the UFC middleweight champion:
“I beat him wherever I want,” Adesanya spoke candidly of Robert Whittaker. “If I’m being frank, Rob is lacking defensively and that’s where I’ll take him. And I can do that any way I want. I know he’s a fighter who wants to go out there and bust people up, but I’m not a guy you mess with.”
Now, calling out the division’s top dog is one way to garner a fair amount of attention, but backing that talk up with results inside the octagon speaks volumes. Adesanya’s target, Robert Whittaker, has demonstrated the power of results, as he is riding a nine-fight winning streak and has not tasted defeat since February of 2014, at UFC 170.
“The Style Bender,” as Israel Adesanya is known, has an impressive albeit short young resume, standing at 15-0 (4-0 UFC). While UFC president Dana White has a decision to make regarding his young stud’s next opponent, an impressive victory against a solid competitor could open up a serious discussion about whether Adesanya deserves title fight consideration.
Standing in between the Style Bender and his shot at the middleweight belt is a lineup of well-deserving mixed martial artists, most of whom are household names within the sport. Yoel Romero, Luke Rockhold, Jacare Souza, Kelvin Gastelum (Whittaker’s next scheduled opponent), and Chris Weidman round out the top five contenders in the division, according to UFC.com, while Adesanya currently sits at no. 6.
Regardless of who Dana White pencils in for Adesanya’s next victim, the young man is sure to enter the octagon with the confidence of a stone-cold killer. He even offered a taste of the notoriety he’ll add to the UFC, should he be given his opportunity to unseat the middleweight champ:
“Once I’m champion, there will be a lot more eyes on this division. I’m the guy making s*** happen.”
You’ve got to love a guy who speaks colorfully about his ascent to the top, before being guaranteed his shot. Here’s to the Style Bender: Go and back up that noise, young man.