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Israel Adesanya doesn’t want to be ‘babied’ by UFC, moving up the rankings at his ‘own pace’

MMA: UFC Fight Night Phoenix-Adesanya vs Vettori Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Whether or not you believe Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has handpicked opponents for undefeated middleweight sensation Israel Adesanya, there’s no denying how talented “Last Stylebender” truly is.

Despite making his mixed martial arts (MMA) debut just six years ago, the 28-year-old former kickboxing standout has amassed a perfect 13-0 record (2-0 UFC) with 12 individually awesome knockouts. Adesanya has also evolved his hype game by calling his own shots on microphone and challenging the 185-pound faction as a whole.

As Adesanya continues his middleweight ascension he’s going to encounter stiffer competition like he never has before. Currently slated to fight promotional veteran Brad Tavares in the main event next weekend at TUF 27 Finale in Las Vegas as part of International Fight Week, “Last Stylebender” is excited to conquer the challenges that UFC presents.

“In the UFC it’s sink or swim and I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Adesanya told MMA Fighting earlier this week. “Fights like this are why I’m happy I didn’t sign earlier in my MMA journey when people were constantly telling me to sign with UFC. The reason why I took my time getting here is because I wanted to be ready to face the best when I got here.

“People think I just showed up out of nowhere. They don’t know anything about the body of work I’ve put together over the last 10 years; they don’t realize where I’ve been or know about the asses I’ve been kicking all over the world.”

While Adesanya struggled mildly against Marvin Vettori his last time out, the Nigerian native still showcased world-class confidence inside of the Octagon. That’s going to be key moving forward as Adesanya tries to work his way up the middleweight ladder and prove that nobody is giving him handouts.

“I don’t want to be babied all the way to the top,” explained Adesanya. “The UFC have been looking after me. I’ve been getting the fights I want, they just didn’t know that I wanted them. They aren’t rushing me, I’m going at my own pace and I’m cruising.”

If “Last Stylebender” is able to put a beating on Tavares next week in Las Vegas it may be time for the promotion to really throw him to the wolves at 185 pounds. Tavares is currently ranked No. 8 in the division, but there are more dangerous contenders in the Top 10 that would test Adesanya’s maturation and growing potential heading into 2019.

For more TUF 27 Finale fight card news click here.

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