Israel Adesanya only has two title defenses at Middleweight — against Yoel Romero and Paulo Costa — but fight fans are already salivating at the thought of “The Last Stylebender” moving up in weight to take part in “super” fights.
Especially one against former UFC Light Heavyweight champion, Jon Jones.
But, a move all the way up to Heavyweight isn’t out of the question for the 31-year old former kickboxer. If and when the move happens, former UFC “champ-champ” Daniel Cormier says it will be a huge problem for every big man if they choose a stand-and-bang approach with the current Middleweight kingpin.
“Adesanya, if he can keep this fight [against Jones] standing, which he has proven he can do, is a problem for not only Jon Jones but all the way up to Heavyweight to Stipe Miocic,” Cormier told Helen Yee Sports. “If [they] have to stand with Israel Adesanya from Heavyweight down to Middleweight it’s a problem because he is that good in that one particular skill, the striking.”
While there are several great strikers in the 265-pound division, including Alistair Overeem, Derrick Lewis and Junior dos Santos, just to name a few, the only man “D.C.” feels can give Adesanya any problems in that area is none other than Francis Ngannou.
“He [Adesanya] is that good at striking and now he is striking with four ounce gloves. He is a dangerous guy, he is a dangerous guy for everybody. Maybe not Francis,” he laughed. “Francis is knocking people’s heads off, so maybe not Francis, but all the rest of the Heavyweights got their hands full with Adesanya.”
Still, a move up two weight classes likely won’t happen anytime soon, and the landscape of the division will likely change drastically by the time “The Last Stylebender” decides to pack on the pounds.
For now, he eagerly awaits the result of the upcoming Middleweight bout between former division champion, Robert Whittaker, and Jared Cannonier, which is set to go down on Oct. 24, 2020, on “Fight Island.”
In the meantime, Adesanya will keep on antagonizing Jones — who is preparing for his own move up to the 265-pound weight class — in an effort to lure him into a fight sometime in 2021.