Israel Adesanya and one other shot at gentle heavyweight

21-1. It’s a stat that haunts the file of Israel Adesanya. Some of the excellent fighters of his era, ‘The Final Stylebender’ has carved his approach by means of the middleweight division with relative ease. His putting is made distinctive by his ability, velocity and the convenience with which he can change between southpaw and orthodox stances.

At UFC 259, Adesanya got here painfully near changing into the newest two-division champion. Sadly for the 31-year previous, Jan Blachowicz’s grappling was an excessive amount of to beat. Adesanya ate his first UFC defeat by way of unanimous resolution.

4 months later, maybe it’s time to think about why an Adesanya vs Blachowicz or Teixeira (relying on how UFC 267 goes) title combat could be value reserving in 2022. Assuming he stays middleweight king in that point, listed here are three causes Israel Adesanya deserves one other crack at UFC gentle heavyweight gold:

#3. Adesanya’s continued dominance of the middleweight division

Whereas Adesanya’s 20-0 undefeated streak was snapped upon shifting as much as gentle heavyweight, he has now resumed his successful methods. At middleweight, Adesanya is arguably probably the most dominant fighter the division has seen because the prime years of Anderson Silva.

Incessantly securing Battle of the Night time and Efficiency of the Night time honors, Adesanya actually solely got here wherever close to defeat towards Yoel Romero at UFC 248. Primarily based on his title defenses towards Paulo Costa and Marvin Vettori since then, it’s protected to say the Romero scare was a blip on the middleweight radar.

Assuming ‘The Final Stylebender’ is ready to defeat former champ Robert Whittaker as soon as once more, he could also be out of mountains to climb at middleweight. With this in thoughts, it might be time for Adesanya to re-try securing the double champion glory that eluded him earlier this 12 months.

#2. Adesanya’s current enhancements within the octagon

From combat to combat, Adesanya continues to point out enhancements in all elements of his recreation. A pure striker, ‘The Final Stylebender’ has often come undone as a consequence of his comparatively much less spectacular grappling.

This was particularly evident at UFC 259 the place the more-experienced Blachowicz was in a position to out-manoeuvre the kickboxer. Studying from Adesanya’s hard-fought however controversial victory over Yoel Romero, Blachowicz uncovered a number of flaws in Adesanya’s defensive recreation. In doing so, ‘Polish Energy’ managed to maintain him slowed down for a lot of the combat.

In his subsequent UFC 263 middleweight title protection towards Marvin Vettori, Adesanya proved he had discovered his lesson. Vettori, a rock-solid grappler in his personal proper, came upon the laborious approach that Adesanya has labored laborious to enhance his takedown protection.

If Adesanya continues down this highway, whereas protecting his putting skills at their insanely excessive stage, he might change into unstoppable in each weight lessons.

#1. It is a cash combat

Adesanya’s first foray into the sunshine heavyweight scene was greeted with controversy in some circles. Many believed that Blachowicz’s upcoming challenger, Glover Teixeira, was extra deserving of Adesanya’s shot earlier this 12 months.

Whereas an argument for Teixeira can simply be made, the chilly laborious reality of the matter is there was more cash in an Adesanya combat. Whereas that shouldn’t be the first deciding issue right here, the UFC remains to be a enterprise. Dana White, like everybody else, noticed greenback indicators when making the decision.

The usually outspoken middleweight champ has captured followers’ imaginations through the years. His drawing energy will probably solely improve with the tease of a Blachowicz rematch. Their first conflict did a powerful 800,000 buys. An extended-awaited second showdown has a great shot of passing the million mark.

Maybe much more attractive is the prospect of an Adesanya vs Teixeira conflict. Ought to Teixeira be capable of unseat ‘Polish Energy’ and full his lengthy journey to gentle heavyweight gold, the story tells itself. Initially handed over for Adesanya, Teixeira does what ‘The Final Stylebender’ couldn’t and should now defend it towards him. It is virtually cinematic in its dramatic potential.

Such a narrative screams cash ought to it come to fruition. Both approach, the sunshine heavyweight scene will acquire an enormous increase in publicity ought to Adesanya try champ-champ standing once more.

Edited by Jack Cunningham

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