Undefeated (13-0, 2-0 UFC) Middleweight prospect Israel Adesanya has been getting quite the love from Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in his first two fights inside the Octagon, and he’s made the most of his opportunities by knocking out Rob Wilkinson and edging out Marvin Vettori most recently at UFC on FOX 29 a few weeks ago.
Now it’s time to step it up a notch.
According to longtime 185-pound contender Brad Tavares, the promotion has approached him with an offer to face Israel after “The Last Stylebender” called him out in Glendale, Arizona.
“They want the kid Isreal Adesanya. He called me out after in his post-fight interview. It’s a fight UFC actually approached and I am not opposed to it,” declared Tavares on a recent edition of The MMA Hour.
And though Tavares has never been one to deny any scrap, he feels his tenure with the promotion warrants a bigger fight, especially since he’s won four in a row.
“I have been in this sport for eleven years now and the majority of that time has been in the UFC. I’m a product of the UFC and Dana White is basically like my uncle. In Hawaii, out of respect all the older dudes are uncles. I have been in the UFC since I was 21, 22,” explained Tavares, who says he wants to make a run at the division title now that he’s on a win streak.
“Right now I am on a roll and I got one fight left on my contract, I’m on a four-fight win streak, I just knocked out Jotko who was in top 15, put me in the top 10. Before that I smashed Thales Leites, just destroyed him. Where I’m at now, I think I stand a really good chance of making a run for a title shot and making that championship money,” he explained.
“I just had a baby and I’m trying to give her a good life and provide for my family. Honesty, I don’t think the kid Israel deserves to fight me, but if that’s what UFC wants, and they’re going to pay me, I don’t care who it is, I will smash him.”
And just like Tavares feels Israel hasn’t earned he right to face him, it seems former middleweight champion Michael Bisping has the same feeling toward Brad, as “The Count” isn’t too keen of facing off against the Hawaiian in his farewell bout.
“I actually really respect the dude and I was happy for him when he won the belt. He has been at it for so long and I felt like he deserved all those things. Once he wont the belt, I knew it would be a far far shot, he’s getting older and we got sharks in our division,” added Tavares.
“I didn’t think he would hold the belt for very long. But now that he doesn’t have the belt and is coming off another loss after losing the belt, it’s very possible. But he doesn’t want to fight me for his last fight, so I am not holding my breath.”
At the end of the day, Bisping won’t cave and accept Brad’s challenge, soa fight against Adesanya seems to be on the horizon for the 185-pound standout whose last loss came against current champion Robert Whittaker back in 2015.
But if UFC wants to use Tavares as a stepping stone for Israel, the Hawaiian-born scrapper says it will backfire on them and the hype train will be derailed.