Those watching UFC Vegas 12 on Saturday night (Oct. 31, 2020) may have noticed Middleweight champion Israel Adesanya sitting cage side for the fights. Fellow 185-pound competitor Kevin Holland even got into it a little with the champ, yelling at him from the cage after his quick slam stoppage win over TKD expert Charlie Ontiveros (watch it).
But Adesanya has bigger fish to fry ... much bigger.
Following the fights, UFC President, Dana White, confirmed that Adesanya’s next fight would involve moving up to 205 pounds to challenge Jan Blachowicz for the Light Heavyweight title. And after that? Maybe a Middleweight title defense, if a new contender emerges.
But, it’s clear that Adesanya’s top target for 2021 is a “super” fight with Jon Jones.
“I said I’m going to fight the supposed G.O.A.T., 2021, Raiders Stadium,” Adesanya declared on the ESPN+ post-fight show. “I’m hoping to God after these elections all this Corona s**t vanishes and then we can have crowds again, because that fight needs to be in front of a crowd. It’s going to be the biggest fight in UFC history, I believe, bar any fight that’s been put up.”
Adesanya wants this thing to be big. The biggest ever. And that means it’ll have to break the current UFC attendance record held by ... Israel Adesanya, from his fight with Robert Whittaker at UFC 243.
“If not Raiders, I’m thinking Texas, because I have the gate for the largest attendance in the world at 57,127,” Adesanya said. “So I’m thinking Raiders Stadium, if not Cowboys Stadium. There’s more to come, but I’m just saying, baby steps. Everything I’ve planned, strategy in the game of war.”
Allegiant Stadium (a.k.a. Raiders Stadium) in Las Vegas can hold between 60,000 to 72,000 fans, depending on the configuration. AT&T Stadium (a.k.a. Cowboys Stadium) can hold between 80,000 and 105,000 fans.
Of course, cramming that many fans into one place isn’t going to happen unless “this Corona s**t vanishes,” which we certainly wouldn’t put a big money wager on happening after the election like Adesanya and White are hoping for.
A realistic middle ground? Having Adesanya fight in his home country of New Zealand, one of the places that has managed to stamp out COVID-19 completely. Eden Park has a capacity of 50,000 and Sky Stadium can hold 34,500. It’s not above 57,127, but there’s certainly something to be said about bringing the biggest fight of your career home to your countrymen.
What do you think, Maniacs? Do you believe all this “super” fight talk? Will there be fans or is this just wishful thinking?