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Dana White says Israel Adesanya needs ‘some time’ before moving back to 205

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UFC’s president thinks “Last Stylebender” has a lot of work to do, including at UFC 263 vs. Marvin Vettori, before considering another leap to Light Heavyweight.

UFC President, Dana White, believes there is a lot of substance left for Israel Adesanya at Middleweight. However, Adesanya’s head coach, Eugene Bareman, believes the UFC Middleweight champion’s days at 185 pounds are numbered as he continues to clean out the division. Even if Adesanya beats Marvin Vettori at UFC 263, which takes placed this weekend (Sat., June 12, 2021) inside Gila River Arena in Glendale, Ariz., White says that Adesanya doesn’t need to look at a return to Light Heavyweight.

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CHAMPIONSHIP DOUBLEHEADER! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to T-Mobile Arena with a pair of thrilling world championship bouts. The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 29 coaches collide when Featherweight champion, Alexander Volkanovski, defends his title against No. 2-ranked contender, Brian Ortega. UFC 266’s co-main event will see women’s Flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko go for her sixth consecutive title defense when she meets No. 3-seeded contender, Lauren Murphy. Last, and certainly not least, Nick Diaz returns against former Welterweight roost ruler, Robbie Lawler, in a five-round banger.

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“It’s not true, though,” White told Submission Radio. “I mean, that’s what people were saying about Anderson Silva for years. ‘Oh god, what’s next? Who’s next?’ There’s always somebody next. Believe me, there’s gonna be somebody that’s gonna have an amazing performance here in the next several months that people will be going, ‘Oh god, we gotta see them and Israel now’. To completely clean out a division, he’s still got some time.”

White is not prepared, however, to completely close the door on a rematch between Adesanya and Jan Blachowicz, who handed “Last Stylebender” his first-ever professional mixed martial arts (MMA) loss at UFC 259 back in March (watch highlights).

“I don’t know, that’s up to him,” White said. “Obviously, come back to Middleweight, knock out a few more wins, show your dominance here again at Middleweight, and then yeah, maybe he does move back up. Or, he rides out the rest of his career and tries to become the greatest middleweight of all time.

“Let’s see what happens with Jared Cannonier,” he continued. “Believe me, there’s still a lot of great fights for him [Adesanya].”

UFC 263’s pay-per-view (PPV) card is headlined by a rematch between Adesanya and the colorful and never-boring Marvin Vettori. Also on the card is a Flyweight title rematch between champion Deiveson Figueiredo and challenger Brandon Moreno.


Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 263 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 263: “Adesanya vs. Vettori 2” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.