Is Israel Adesanya done with the UFC’s middleweight division?

Daniel Cunningham

This past weekend, Dana White announced that UFC middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya, would be moving up for his next fight. Instead of defending his crown next, he’ll be moving up to challenge Jan Blachowicz for the UFC light heavyweight title. 

This move comes on the heels of Adesanya’s dominant performance at UFC 253 where he defeated Paulo Costa. White’s preference was for Adesanya to defend his title in a rematch with Robert Whittaker, however, Whittaker needs more time.

With Adesanya wanting to stay active, the logical move was for him to move up. He will try to become just the fourth fighter in UFC history to hold two belts at the same time. However, Jan Blachowicz is far from a pushover.

For the purpose of this article, let’s say that Adesanya is able to move up and capture the UFC light heavyweight championship. Will he ever return to the middleweight division? Or will he be like Conor McGregor who never returned to featherweight after he won the title.

What will the UFC star do?

Adesanya said that he has very clear plans for 2021. The middleweight champion said to Submission Radio that he plans on capturing the UFC light heavyweight title then he plans on fighting Jon Jones in a stadium.

The Jon Jones fight is the one that all UFC fans want to see. It’s easily the biggest fight that the promotion could make right now. The two men do not like each other and have been talking about fighting for some time now.

With Adesanya moving up to light heavyweight, we appear a step closer to that matchup. Jon Jones is currently focused on his move to heavyweight, however, I feel that he would relish the chance to drop back down to fight Adesanya.

A fun scenario to imagine is if Adesanya captures the UFC‘s light heavyweight title while Jones captures the heavyweight title. Imagine Jones and Adesanya fighting when they control three titles. The fight would be one of the biggest fights of all time.

All this is to say that if Adesanya wins the light heavyweight title, it might be a long time before we see him return to 185 pounds. In fact, we might have already seen the last time Israel Adesanya competes in the middleweight division.

However, Adesanya did tell MMA Fighting that he wants to come back to middleweight eventually. Adesanya said, “No, middleweight’s mine. Middleweight is my perfect weight class. So when I do 205, I’ll just hold up that division once in a while that’s all. I’ll defend my belt when it’s time.”