UFC: Israel Adesanya’s next fight could come at light heavyweight

Daniel Cunningham

The UFC‘s middleweight king could be jumping up in weight for his next contest. Israel Adesanya (20-0) has been talking to his coaches about a potential move up to light heavyweight this year. The middleweight champion is coming off of a dominant win at UFC 253.

Of course, fans would immediately jump to the conclusion that he would be fighting Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC). Jones and Adesanya have been going back and forth for a while over social media. Dana White recently said that it’s the fight to make.

However, Adesanya has always been a fighter that has followed the lead and instructions of his coaches. Adesanya’s head coach, Eugene Bareman, was recently interviewed on Submission Radio discussing what is next for the UFC‘s middleweight champion.

The first choice for his next fight is top middleweight contender Jared Cannonier. “If Cannonier didn’t want to turn around and fight, then Israel would definitely fight at 205,” Bareman said. “We’ve already had a little chat about that. He would be perfectly willing to do that. So much is just dependent on those results in the middleweight division”

What’s next in the UFC for Adesanya?

Adesanya has been very vocal about his timeline to fight Jon Jones. He wants to fight the UFC‘s pound for pound king, but he wants to do it on his own time. The UFC‘s middleweight champion and his team seem to be more interested in defending the UFC middleweight title next.

As Bareman, said, if Adesanya can’t defend the title soon, he would move up. However, I’m not convinced that moving up would translate to a Jon Jones fight. Perhaps Adesanya would move up just to test the waters the way Anderson Silva did at light heavyweight.

As Dana White said, the fight to make is Israel Adesanya – Jon Jones. However, I just don’t know if that’s what we are going to get next. Many people have pointed to the fact that the UFC should try to make this the new headliner for UFC 256. 

However, given how Adesanya and his team treats his career, my guess is that they’d want more time to prepare for the challenge that is Jon Jones. While Adesanya mocks Jones constantly, you have to believe he understands the threat of a Jon Jones fight. Adesanya might fight at light heavyweight next, but it still might not be Jon Jones.