Israel Adesanya defeated Paulo Costa to retain his Middleweight Championship.
This seems to be a turning point in Izzy’s career. Izzy has defeated all top contenders put in front of him and almost completely cleared out the division to this point.
Having never been defeated in his professional MMA career, the question of what else Adesanya can do in the Middleweight division is starting to be asked.
Here are the answers.
Let’s start with the man who Izzy called out after winning his fight against Costa. Jared Cannonier is a highly touted contender with a feature match-up against Robert Whittaker at UFC 254. Obviously, a future fight with Adesanya is contingent on a victory against Whittaker.
The good thing for Cannonier is that if he does win, he will absolutely be the next man to challenge Adesanya. Being that Izzy, the champion, called him out, and there is effectively no one else, he will definitely be the next man up. But what about the man Cannonier will face this later month?
The man who Izzy took the belt from, Robert Whittaker is angling for a rematch with the Last Stylebender. Whittaker was last seen defeating fellow top contender Darren Till earlier this year. Whittaker still currently sits at number one in the division under the Champion Adesanya and if he could put another win on his resume, he may be next in line for Izzy. The only reason the UFC would be reluctant to book an Izzy-Whittaker rematch is that their first match-up was so one-sided with Izzy coming out on top.
It is undeniable that Whittaker keeps winning and they don’t give him another shot at the title, but the UFC may want him to prove his status as number one contender one more time should he defeat Jared Cannonier.
This is most definitely a far-fetched proposition currently for both men, but with the amount of Twitter back-and-forth they’re currently engaged in, it would be criminal to exclude it. Jon Jones is currently preparing for a move to Heavyweight which has been teased for a considerable amount of time now. Izzy is the Champion of the 185-pound division.
The logistics don’t exactly work… currently. Izzy and Jones have both said they are open to this match-up at some point in the future and what a match-up it would be.
Most likely at Light Heavyweight, both men have talked immense amounts of trash and they would love to prove who the better Mixed-Martial Artist truly is. They have both said 2021 would be the time to do it, with Izzy having a few more title defenses and Jones testing the waters at Heavyweight. Whenever and wherever this match-up takes place, the world will be watching.
What do you think is next up for Izzy?
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