In just over a week, Israel Adesanya is hoping to defend his middleweight title for the second time against Paulo Costa. If successful here, he already has an idea of who he would like to face next.
There is a lot at stake for Adesanya, in his UFC 253 bout with Costa. Not only is he looking to defend his belt against potentially the most dangerous opponent of his MMA career, but he is also looking to take out a rival, whom he has been trading some pretty aggressive and personal barbs with. Not to mention the fact that he is trying to get back on track after an extremely disappointing and lackluster fight in his last outing against Yoel Romero.
Israel Adesanya Wants Jared Cannonier Next
Although Israel Adesanya is not looking past his next opponent, he is aware that there are two top contenders who will be fighting soon, to determine who gets the next crack at the champ. The man Izzy beat to win the undisputed title, Robert Whittaker faces Jared Cannonier in a bout that essentially determines who will fight for the title next. Speaking with ESPN, Israel explained that he is hoping Cannonier wins this fight, not just because it will be a fresh matchup, but also because he thinks that Cannonier is low-key one of the best fighters in the division.
“He’s next,” Adesanya said. “I want to fight him next, to be honest. He destroys Robert or makes a statement, I want him next. That’s a really formidable opponent. That’s the dark horse of the division, and I feel like that’ll be some Black Panther vs Killmonger type s–t. I’m not looking too far into the future, but I’ve set it up already.”
Of course, before Israel Adesanya and Jared Cannonier can fight, they must first get past their own next opponents. That being said, if Cannonier is able to beat Robert Whittaker, he is more than deserving of a crack at UFC gold.