Very rarely will you find a professional fighter who openly looks ahead to his next fight before actually engaging in the one directly in front of him. Israel Adesanya, however, is not most fighters.
The boisterous standout says he had his pick of the litter when it comes to his first two UFC bouts, asking for and defeating Rob Wilkinson in his UFC debut at UFC 221 before getting through Marvin Vettori at UFC on FOX 29 just last month.
And after calling for and receiving a bout against Brad Tavares -- which is set to go down at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 27 Finale on July 6, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada, “The Last Stylebender” already has his next opponent in mind.
“The UFC are being nice to me. They are helping me out in the way I get to choose my opponents, like I said, that is three for three now and they don’t even know they are doing it. First it was Rob Wilkinson, then I saw Marvin backstage at UFC 219 and now Brad,” said Israel on a recent edition of The MMA Hour.
“And I’ve already picked my next fight after this, but I got to take care of Brad first. I just keep picking and choosing, it’s like a buffet for me. I want the winner of Uriah Hall and the Brazilian kid,” he added.
The “Brazilian kid” is none other than Paulo Costa, the undefeated (11-0, 3-0 UFC) powerhouse who was last seen knocking out former 170-pound champion Johny Hendricks at UFC 217. And if he has his way, Israel wants to step into the cage at UFC 226 -- site of Hall vs Costa — to stare down his future foe.
Though I don’t really see that happening.
The former kickboxing standout is definitely getting the promotional love from UFC, so it wouldn't be too farfetched to believe matchmakers would oblige his requests should he get through Tavares.
And though Adesanya gave props to Brad for being a tough opponent, he thinks this matchup will be a lot easier than his previous one against Vettori.
Can you dig the confidence?