“He’s Going to Be Next”- Israel Adesanya Reveals Who He Will Defend His Middleweight Title Against Next

Published 02/17/2022, 6:00 AM EST

Israel Adesanya won yet another title defense at UFC 271 and so, people have been wondering who will be the next contender. ‘The Last Stylebender’ has fought almost all the top middleweights except ‘The Killa Gorilla’ Jared Cannonier.

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Further, Sean Strickland seems interested in a title fight. Hence, many have been wondering whether Cannonier or Strickland will be in line next. Adesanya appeared on Ariel Helwani’s show and revealed that Cannonier will be next.

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The UFC middleweight champion said, “He’s going to be next. No, he is next.”

Speaking about ‘Tarzan‘, Adesanya said, “Strickland, I have other plans for him.”

UFC 271 also witnessed a fight between Cannonier and Derek Brunson. Adesanya, who has beaten Brunson, wanted ‘The Killa Gorilla’ to win as he desired a fresh opponent.

“I said to Cannonier, after the weigh-ins, in the morning like, please take care of this dude so I can get some fresh meat. And he obliged, and I was like ‘yeah, oh you know… I want to fight you.’ I just respectfully, I just want to fight him because I think he’s a good fighter.”

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Adesanya revealed he spoke to Cannonier about this. He said, “I’ve set him up before. He fumbled that back. So now he, he’s on, so I feel like I’m a man of my word. He’s next.”

While Helwani tried to probe what ‘other plans’ meant, the fighter didn’t disclose anything. Therefore, it looks like fans might get to see Israel Adesanya versus Jared Cannonier soon.

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Israel Adesanya: Can he grapple?

Though ‘The Last Stylebender’ has remained undefeated at the middleweight, many people argue that he does not have much of a ground game. The fighter mainly uses kickboxing style and hasn’t grappled much in the octagon. This is also evident from the fact that he has not won a single fight via submission.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – OCTOBER 06: The refereee stops the bout between Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker during UFC 243 at Marvel Stadium on October 06, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

However, prior to his fight against Whittaker, Adesanya spoke about his grappling skills. So seeing him grapple more might give some insights into his ground game and how well-rounded he actually is.

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Rohini Kottu

827 articles

Rohini Kottu is a UFC Writer at EssentiallySports. She is also a Psychologist and has a Master's degree in Clinical Psychology. Rohini, in her role as a UFC writer, combines her admiration for the mental resilience that MMA fighters have and her love for analysis.

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