Khamzat Chimaev Could Serve a Bad Blow to Dana White & Co.’s Biggest Bet on Israel Adesanya With Rumored UFC 300 Fight, Claims Daniel Cormier

Published 12/31/2023, 7:01 AM EST

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Sean Strickland not only beat Israel Adesanya but also humiliated him. ‘Tarzan, who shockingly dominated the middleweight champion for all five rounds in their UFC 293 title bout, had unnerved ‘Izzy’ in the run-up to their fight with implications about Adesanya’s dog. This mental and physical domination led Adesanya, one of the most active champions in the promotion’s history, to go on an indefinite hiatus from fighting.

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While he had joked earlier that he would return in 2027, he has now indicated fans might see him back much earlier, some feel even as early as UFC 300 in April ’24. Former UFC two-division champion and commentator Daniel Cormier has a sincere plea for the UFC to make sure it preserves its grudge match with #1 ranked middleweight Dricus Du Plessis.

‘DC’ discusses potential Israel Adesanya vs. Khamzat Chimaev fight

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Israel Adesanya, who is on hiatus, revealed his return plans in a recent interview with iFL TV, where the Kiwi said that “you will see me soon”. Soon after, Khamzat Chimaev the official no. 1 middleweight title contender, posted a picture of his UFC 294 fight against Kamaru Usman along with a picture of Israel Adesanya, an indication he wants to fight the former champion.

On his YouTube channel, Daniel Cormier discussed the timeline of Adesanya’s return and a potential matchup against ‘Borz’. Cormier felt that Adesanya may return in 2024 and while he was initially in favor of the matchup, he changed his mind on further thought.

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Israel Adesanya said that people are, and he used a word that we don’t use, to believe that he would not fight till 2027, he’s coming back this year, or he at least is preparing for a comeback [this year]. Chimaev jumps on it right away and says ‘I want a title fight okay?,” he said.

I’ll take it. Let’s do Adesanya-Chimaev because if you do Adesanya-Chimaev, and Izzy wins, you preserve Izzy, man,” the New Orleans native added. The UFC commentator was afraid if Adesanya lost this fight it would jeopardize the Dricus Du Plessis fight.

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Cormier thinks UFC 297 result could determine ‘Izzy’s next opponent

Cormier felt that Dana White and the UFC should wait until after the Dricus Du Plessis vs. Sean Strickland title bout at UFC 297 next month. ‘DC’ was insistent that the UFC must try to preserve Adesanya vs. Du Plessis, which has a lot of hype and genuine bad blood behind it. The two were slated to face each other after their ‘real African’ controversy at UFC 293, but the South African turned it down as he was recovering from an injury. Cormier thought if Chimaev was to beat Adesanya, that would close the door on Adesanya vs. DDP for the foreseeable future.

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“I don’t know you don’t wait to see what happens between Du Plessis and Strickland before you make a decision on Adesanya… But if Khamzat gets through him now, you might lose that [Adesanya] fight with Du Plessis. So I think you save that fight if you’re the UFC,” Cormier added. Who do you think Israel Adesanya faces at a potential UFC 300 bout?

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Written by:

Kanishk Thakur

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One take at a time

Hi, I am Kanishk and I am a UFC Writer at EssentiallySports. I love telling the stories of these magnificent fighters and this wildly unpredictable sport that is so frustrating and yet so joyous at the same time. I never really used to watch MMA, thinking it too crude or brutal a sport to deserve respect.
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Edited by:

Yeswanth Praveen

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