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Israel Adesanya next fight: 3 opponent options for the ‘Last Stylebender,’ including Jan Blachowicz

Some fresh Israel Adesanya next fight news should arrive in the winter, but as his legion of fans waits we offer up three opponent options and take a look back at his disappointing UFC 293 title fight loss to Sean Strickland.

Related: UFC tonight – Fight card, betting odds, and watch times for Saturday’s UFC event

Who will Israel Adesanya next fight be against?

Adesanya has had such a dominant run in the UFC middleweight division that there are only a couple of worthwhile matchups for him in the weight class. That is why when he does return to the Octagon a rematch with Strickland, a scrap with Dricus Du Plessis, or a light heavyweight rematch with Jan Blachowicz make the most sense next.

  • Tarzan: As a legend of the division, it would be understandable if Adesanya calls for a rematch with Strickland. However, after losing clearly with the judges the big question is how interested is the UFC in the idea.
  • DDP: Adesanya and Du Plessis were supposed to face off at UFC 293, however, the quick turnaround was too much for the rising star. If the South African isn’t next in line for the new champ, a number one contender’s scrap between the two makes sense next.
  • Revenge: The former light heavyweight king was the first man to beat Adesanya in the UFC. If the middleweight great is looking for a bout outside his division a revenge fight with Blachowicz would be a fun detour to fix one of the few marks on his resume.

Israel Adesanya vs. Sean Strickland recap

israel adesanya next fight
Credit: Jasmin Frank-USA TODAY Sports

“The Last Stylebender” entered UFC 293 as a massive favorite and will now be one-half of one of the greatest upsets in promotion history when he was easily beaten by Sean Strickland in a stunning main event.

What happened: There was an immediate sense this fight would not proceed as planned when “Tarzan” was able to hurt and nearly finish Adesanya in the first round of their bout. He is a fighter who has never shown big power, so the moment set a tone that he was going to be a challenge the division great would have serious trouble solving on that night.

The fallout: After five rounds the judges felt Strickland’s pressure and defense were too much for Adesanya and awarded the American four of the five rounds on all three scorecards. It was a stunning result that will be talked about for decades.

The road map: It will be interesting to see where Adesanya goes next because it is far from a guarantee that the UFC will give him an immediate rematch after suffering decisive losses in two of his last three bouts, all title fights.

Adesanya truly is a one-of-a-kind combat athlete. He is akin to Muhammad Ali and Roy Jones, Jr. in mixing world-class physical gifts with it-factor charisma. Adesanya is a perfect representation of the era he dominates in and will surely go down as many Gen Z fans’ favorite UFC fighter.

The Avatar of the UFC: Adesanya is a top three pound-for-pound talent because he can beautifully blend both the physical and mental sides of fighting into one dynamic combat package.

  • Israel Adesanya Record: 23-3 (16 knockouts)
  • Adesanya has never lost at middleweight. During his three-plus-year run in the UFC, he’s beaten elite fighters like Derek Brunson, Paulo Costa, Marvin Vettori (twice), Whittaker (twice), and Yoel Romero.
  • In a clash of generations, Adesanya fought his idol, and the man considered the greatest MMA middleweight of all time, Anderson Silva, in 2018. Although the then-43-year-old Silva showed the heart of a lion, his younger counterpart was the better man and won by unanimous decision.
  • Before he jumped to MMA, Adesanya was a world-class kickboxer. Amassing a 75-5 record with 48 KOs.

The Stylish Bender: The New Zealand resident has become a sports superstar by unabashedly being himself. A confident, cocky, funny, and creative man that connects with the 18 to 35 age demographic that all sports properties and advertisers want.

  • Adesanya has over nine million followers on his various social media accounts, including six million on Instagram.
  • The champ also runs popular OnlyFans and YouTube pages. His YouTube channel currently has over 1.1 million subscribers which helps him earn a solid income from his videos.
  • Adesanya made headlines in 2021 when he took part in the “Black Lives Matter” protests in New Zealand. At the protest, he gave a passionate speech and used his fame to help push the popular social movement.

Israel Adesanya’s net worth

Money is often one of the greatest measuring sticks for a fighter’s success. As of 2021, Adesanya’s net worth is estimated to be $4 million.

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