Israel Adesanya To Challenge Jan Blachowicz For Light Heavyweight Title Next
By Ross Markey
Current UFC middleweight champion, Israel ‘The Last Stylebender’ Adesanya is on his way to 205-pounds in search of his second promotional championship.
According to promotional president, Dana White, the City Kickboxing ace will make the leap to light heavyweight for his next Octagon outing as he challenges recently minted titleholder, Jan Blachowicz.
Adesanya, who has scored two successful title defences since he successfully unified the middleweight crowns in October of last year, has already laid waste to first, multiple-time title chaser, Yoel Romero in a forgettable March matchup, as well as Paulo Costa at UFC 253 in September on ‘Fight Island’.
Claiming the 205-pound at the same event as Adesanya, former KSW light heavyweight gold holder, Blachowicz took co-headlining honours on his way to a second-round knockout win over two-time challenger, Dominick Reyes.
Whilst both have expressed their respective interests in clashing with former two-time 205-pound best, Jon Jones, the above-mentioned White has detailed how Blachowicz and Adesanya are on a collision course for an event next year – after the previously mentioned, Whittaker had reportedly turned down a rematch with Adesanya following his recent UFC 254 win over Jared Cannonier.
“Listen when the fight was over on Fight Island, the las fight, I was like I’m going to have to sit down with this kid and convince him on why he needs to fight (Robert) Whittaker,” White said at last night’s post-UFC Vegas 12 press conference. “Whittaker comes out and says he doesn’t want to fight him. Craziest sh*t I’ve ever seen.”
“So there’s no arguing with Israel now. I thought Whittaker deserved the shot and Whittaker doesn’t want it so we’ll let him do it.
The undefeated, Adesanya had initially announced plans to score a title defence opposite the above noted, Cannonier immediately after his second-round knockout win over Costa, but with the Texan’s unanimous decision loss to Whittaker, which snapped a three-fight rise at middleweight, the kibosh was placed firmly on that pairing for the time being.
While Blachowicz has just landed on the light heavyweight throne, the division continues to develop, with another top contender emerging soon ahead of next weekend’s UFC Vegas 13 rescheduled main event between one-time championship challengers, Thiago Santos and Glover Teixeira.
With the promotion’s plans to now ink a fight between Blachowicz and Adesanya, it seems either Santos, who already holds a stoppage win over the former, or Teixeira will have to lay in wait as that pairing plays out.