Israel Adesanya Says There’s No Need to Put on Muscle to Defeat Light Heavyweights

Published 03/04/2021, 8:58 AM EST
ATLANTA, GA – APRIL 12: UFC middleweight Israel Adesanya of Nigeria gestures to the crowd during the UFC 236 weigh-in at State Farm Arena on April 12, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya spoke to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani and touched on his move up in weight to 205-pounds. ‘The Last Stylebender’ is preparing himself to scrap at UFC 259 against Jan Blachowicz to hopefully claim another gold belt. The bout is Jan Blachowicz’s first title defense and he comes in as the underdog against the 185-pound champion.

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Much has been made of Israel Adesanya’s move to the light heavyweight division and how it will impact his performance. He’s been at the top of his game at 185-pounds and there are doubts about his viability in a higher weight class. Blachowicz comes in with his famed Polish power and fans are intrigued to see how ‘Izzy’ will handle the power.

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Israel Adesanya breaks down his move to light heavyweight

‘The Last Stylebender’ seemed largely unbothered by the fact that he was set to lose a lot of weight to the champ. He revealed to Ariel Helwani that he’ll be weighing in below the 205-pound threshold for his upcoming match-up. Chiefly, Adesanya explained that coming in heavy wasn’t a concern for him.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JULY 05: UFC interim middleweight champion Israel Adesanya of New Zealand poses for the media during the UFC seasonal press conference at T-Mobile Arena on July 5, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

“I can still make 185 if I have to. Same flex baby, same thing. There’s nothing, that’s just silly to me when people go and decide to add more muscle to their frame that they’re not used to. For me, I just do this thing different. I want to bring it back to the rawness of martial arts technique so don’t worry about weight, don’t worry about all that.”

The big weigh-in at UFC 259

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Furthermore, Izzy also went on to acknowledge that giving up too much weight could become a problem during a fight. However, given his past weigh-in appearances, it would seem like Adesanya won’t be giving up more than 30 pounds in weight to Jan.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – FEBRUARY 10: Israel Adesanya of New Zealand is introduced prior to his middleweight bout against Anderson Silva of Brazil during the UFC 234 at Rod Laver Arena on February 10, 2019 in the Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

“Yes, there’s a certain factor like I said, there’s a certain point is a point where it becomes a favor for the other guy but not this time. I don’t think he’s going to put on enough weight to be an issue. If he tried too, he’s going to f**k himself over.”

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The weigh-in will certainly be a huge point of focus as the fight draws near. Fans and media members alike are intrigued to see the impact Adesanya makes at light heavyweight. Several questions will be answered once the cage door closes.

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Darryl Pinto

1460 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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