Israel Adesanya spoke out about a possible fight with Khamzat Chimaev, but has ‘bigger fish to fry’

Israel Adesanya is patiently waiting for his next big challenge.

The two-time UFC middleweight champion finally overcame his top combat sports rival Alex Pereira in his last time out at UFC 287 this past April. After succumbing to an 0-3 score in favor of Pereira across kickboxing and MMA competitions, Adesanya knocked out “Poatan” in round two of their fourth overall encounter and MMA rematch.

Adesanya reclaimed his 185-pound throne with the sensational stoppage, therefore, putting the Pereira saga behind him — for now — as the former champion heads to light heavyweight. The next middleweight title challenger is expected to come out of the Robert Whittaker vs. Dricus Du Plessis matchup at UFC 290 on July 8. However, top-ranked welterweight contender Khamzat Chimaev has continually teased not only a move back up to 185 pounds but an interest in fighting Adesanya. While “The Last Stylebender” still targets a newly developed grudge match with Du Plessis, he likes all of these options in front of him.

“Trust me, I’m not scared of nobody on this f***** planet. No one,” Adesanya said on IMPAULSIVE. “And also, guess what, I like a challenge. [Chimaev] presents something unique that — I’ve seen wrestlers before. It’s a big fight. That’s why I like that. Cheddar makes it better. But he’s got Kamaru [Usman] and after that is probably gonna go for the title [if he wins].

“I’ve got bigger fish to fry. I’m gonna be there in July [for UFC 290] and I’mma see what’s up. Not with Rob, with Du Plessis.”

'Israel Adesanya a cash cow' - Khamzat Chimaev thinks the UFC is protecting Israel Adesanya from him

Usman vs. Chimaev isn’t official at present but has been floated around and mentioned by UFC President Dana White. Both fighters have teased their interest in the pairing. The only point of contingency appears to be the weight class it would take place in.

Chimaev’s current limbo comes as a result of his massive 7.5-pound weight miss ahead of his last scheduled fight with Nate Diaz at welterweight in September. The mishap caused a full shuffle to the top of the card, which ultimately led “Borz” to a first-round d’arce choke victory against Kevin Holland in a 180-pound catchweight affair. Even before all the weight turmoil with the undefeated Chechnyan superstar, Chimaev was all about getting his hands on Adesanya.

“He said some s*** in the past,” Adesanya said. “He always tweets after my fights anyway but I don’t respond to nonsense. Everyone does. I’m the champ. Even when Pereira took the belt, I was still the champ. I wasn’t the UFC champion, but they still called me champ on the streets because I’m me. I’m Israel Adesanya. I have that name, that target on my back no matter what and I said that even leading up to this last fight.

“People were like, ‘Ah, do you feel the pressure has been taken off you now that you’ve lost the belt?’ I was like, nah. I’m still Israel Adesanya. I’m still ‘The Last Stylebender.’ They want to fight me because I’m one of the greatest in this game right now, and they want to have me on their mantle piece or that name like, ‘Yeah, I beat him’ or ‘I fought him.’”

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x