Former UFC Champion Israel Adesanya Has “Basically Finished His Little Hiatus,” Says Coach Eugene Bareman

Adesanya is getting closer to a UFC return.

Israel Adesanya
Courtesy of @UFCNews on Twitter

Israel Adesanya is wrapping up his hiatus, per coach Eugene Bareman.

Following his shocking unanimous decision loss to Sean Strickland in the main event of UFC 293 back in September 2023, Adesanya announced he would be taking a break from pro MMA competition. He later joked with reporters that he won’t be returning until 2027. The reality is, “Izzy” will be stepping back inside the Octagon far sooner.

Adesanya is preparing himself for the right time to swing leather once again.

Israel Adesanya Close To Making UFC Comeback

It appears the hiatus of Israel Adesanya won’t be lasting too much longer. During an interview with Combat TV, City Kickboxing coach Eugene Bareman revealed that “The Last Stylebender” will be in peak physical shape soon, which means a potential return fight may loom in the coming months.

“Izzy’s back training, so he’s back in the swing of things,” Bareman said. “Look, we’re training just in case there’s an eventuality of a fight. So, we’re getting him fit and, yeah, he’s getting ready to take up a potential date should one come up soon. He’s basically finished his little hiatus and he’s ready to come back. So, just give us a date, give us an opponent, and we’ll show up ready to go.”

Bareman revealed Adesanya began to fully get back in the swing of things over a month ago, so he doesn’t have much time left before he’ll be ready for the call.

“We’ve been going for a good month and a half now, so he’s probably on the edge of starting to look like he’s getting started to get back in shape,” Bareman said. “A couple more months, another month and a half he’ll be flying. He’ll be back to kind of pre-hiatus kind of level. So, he’s looking good. It’s good to have him back in the gym. He seems to have a renewed sort of energy, and he’s definitely resided to looking after himself really well. He’s been making the most of his time off and he feels like he’s refreshed and ready to go.”

Whether or not Adesanya gets another UFC championship fight upon his return remains to be seen. There is bad blood with reigning middleweight titleholder Dricus Du Plessis. Few would argue it’s the most lucrative fight at 185 pounds, but worthy contenders such as Jared Cannonier and Robert Whittaker may take exception if that happens.

Here is Combat TV’s full interview with Eugene Bareman:

Published on February 13, 2024 at 3:18 pm
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