Israel Adesanya will be moving back down to the middleweight division.
Adesanya failed in his attempt to become a two-division champion when he was outpointed by Jan Blachowicz in their light heavyweight title fight at UFC 259 last night.
It also delayed, if not shut down, any hopes of a super fight with Jon Jones who believed the result was further proof that he would have emerged victorious over Adesanya had they ended up fighting.
So what does UFC president Dana White think of where Adesanya now stands?
“Listen, he’s the middleweight champion. He doesn’t get the light heavyweight title, he doesn’t get Jon Jones,” White said at the UFC 259 post-fight press conference. “But you know what? You never hurt somebody for trying to be big and trying to become great. He gave it a shot tonight, and it didn’t happen.
“And Jan is the man. He is the 205-pound champ and now he starts taking on all comers in that weight division.”
As for what’s next, White believes Adesanya should focus on reigning in his natural division.
“Jon Jones used to be at that weight class [light heavyweight],” White added. “Jon’s going to be so much bigger than Israel. I think Israel should focus on middleweight right now. Get back in there and keep doing what he does in the middleweight division.”
Adesanya Agrees With White
While Adesanya will no doubt still believe he has what it takes to defeat Jones, he does agree with White that the next course of action is returning to 185.
“You’ll see me back at 205 later in the future,” Adesanya said at the post-fight press conference. “Right now, I’ve got a division I’ve got to dominate.
“I know what they’re going to be thinking ‘oh, that’s it, you’ve just got to take him down and then you’ve got him.’ All right, cool, bet, well I’ll remind them again why I’m the king of 185.”
Surely it will be against the winner of the upcoming Robert Whittaker vs. Paulo Costa fight.