One of the biggest stars in the UFC today is the middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya (20-0). The undefeated Adesanya has exploded in popularity over the last couple of years due to his performances and his personality.
The Last Stylebender has an incredibly flashy style inside and outside the octagon. Even his ring walks are entertaining like the dancing routine he did prior to his fight with Robert Whittaker at UFC 243.
I will be the first to admit, I thought Adesanya was more hype than substance. While I thought he was good, I didn’t foresee him being nearly as good as he’s shown. Stylebender has shown me that as soon as you doubt him, he performs his best.
After he defeated Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 236, he earned a lot of respect due to the heart that he showed. However, he also showed that he wasn’t invincible and many believed that Robert Whittaker would take him out at UFC 243.
Instead, Adesanya destroyed Whittaker and knocked him out in the second round. Early in the year last year, Adesanya took on Yoel Romero at UFC 248. The fight was far from entertaining and some even believed that Romero won the fight.
With the lack of action in the fight, some cooled off Stylebender. I will be the first to admit that I actually picked him to lose to Paulo Costa at UFC 253. Instead, Adesanya dazzled again and won by second round knockout.
UFC’s first three-division world champion
News recently broke that Adesanya is going to be moving up in his next fight. He’s going to be moving up to light heavyweight at UFC 259 to challenge the light heavyweight champion, Jan Blachowicz (27-8).
It’ll be a big test for Adesanya. It’ll be interesting to see how he holds up against someone as powerful as Blachowicz. While Adesanya’s current plan is to win the title and ultimately return to middleweight, he could have the chance at history.
Adesanya has been very vocal about his future desire to fight Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC). Jones is considered by many to be the greatest fighter of all time. Jones is currently preparing for a heavyweight title fight later this year.
If Jones and Adesanya both were to win, a superfight could materialize. I could see the UFC attempting to pair the two against each other at heavyweight. If that were to happen, Adesanya would have the chance to hold three belts at the same time which has never been done before.
Even if Jones doesn’t win the title and let’s say Stipe Miocic (20-3) remains the champion, Adesanya’s coach has talked about fighting Stipe. The interest is there for Stylebender to potentially test himself at heavyweight as well.
The reality is that there is a roadmap for Adesanya to do something truly special in the UFC. Holding three titles simultaneously has never even been discussed before. However, Adesanya could become the first fighter in history to do it between this year and next.