“Israel Was Willing to Fight”- Israel Adesanya Gets Dana White’s Approval Amid Sean Strickland Rematch in Contention

Published 09/21/2023, 10:04 AM EDT

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UFC 293 delivered a stunning upset in the middleweight division. Underdog Sean Strickland crowned himself as the new middleweight champ after beating former champ Israel Adesanya at his own game. This matchup had fans, pundits, and maybe even ‘Izzy’ himself, thinking ahead for what might come next.

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But as we reflect on the event, the focus has shifted from “Who will be ‘The Stylebender’s next title challenger?” to “What lies ahead for the former champion?” And according to UFC’s CEO Dana White – the UFC has a strategy in place. Recently, in an interview, the UFC head honcho cleared the air around the much-buzzed-about rematch with ‘Tarzan.’ What’s more – he has even lauded ‘Izzy’ for his willingness to fight “anybody, anywhere, anytime.”

Dana White clears the air around Israel Adesanya and his wished-for title fight rematch

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Dana White recently sat down for an interview after this week’s Tuesday Night Contender Series event. Seizing this opportunity, a journalist presented the UFC head honcho with the million-dollar question: “Have you had a chance to speak with Israel Adesanya yet?”

He candidly responded back, saying, “I have not [spoken to Israel Adesanya]. I know he’s in L.A. right now – working on some stuff. But, no, I haven’t talked to him.”

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What’s more, White went on to commend Adesanya’s fighting spirit, adding, “One of the things we always love about Israel is that he was willing to fight anybody, anywhere, anytime.”

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He also asserted that he had no doubts that ‘Izzy’ would let him know when he would be ready to fight once again. “He loves to turn around quickly and fight again, and when he wants to fight, he’ll let us know,” said White. It’s clear that the UFC CEO respects ‘Izzy’s fearless approach to the sport and is eager to see what’s next for the former middleweight champion.

What’s next for ‘The Last Stylebender’?

Israel Adesanya is at a crossroads in his career, and there are two distinct options ahead. On one hand, many believe that ‘Izzy’ deserves a break due to his relentless schedule since joining the UFC. However, the possibility of a rematch with Strickland looms large.

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‘The Stylebender’ has a history of swiftly returning to action after setbacks, as he did following his loss to arch-rival Alex Pereira at UFC 281. His track record shows a willingness to jump back into the octagon as soon as possible.

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Since his UFC debut in 2018, Adesanya has fought an impressive 16 times, consistently taking on at least two opponents each year. He began as an exciting prospect in his first appearance and rapidly climbed the ranks, becoming a top contender after defeating Derek Brunson in New York.

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Meanwhile, other UFC middleweight stars like Jared Cannonier and Dricus Du Plessis are vying for a title shot against Sean Strickland. However, it appears that the UFC’s focus is on helping Adesanya regain his title. The question remains: will we witness a rematch between Adesanya and Strickland, and if so, can ‘Izzy’ reclaim the championship belt? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Written by:

Ashish Tiwari

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Ashish is a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. With an unwavering love for the sport, he immerses himself in the thrilling world of MMA, capturing the essence of each high-octane fight and delving into the intricacies of a fighter's strategy. His in-depth knowledge and analytical approach enable him to provide unique insights into the sport.
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Edited by:

Anuj Jacob

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