There’s been a ton of flux in UFC’s championship ranks over the past while. In Aug. 2022, Leon Edwards knocked out Kamaru Usman with less than one minute to go in their title fight, taking the Welterweight belt off the long-time champion (relive it here). Now, Israel Adesanya has lost his Middleweight title to Sean Strickland after dropping a lopsided decision at UFC 293 (watch highlights).
Usman stepped into the cage seven months later to try and win the championship back off Edwards. He’d lose a majority decision and now sits in a No Man’s Land, having lost to the current champion twice. As someone who knows how important these title rematches are, he had some words of advice for Adesanya as “The Last Stylebender” contemplates his next move.
“For Izzy, I think the activity might be a little too much,” Usman said on the DC & RC show. “Izzy has been fighting a lot. A lot. Between when I was champion, Izzy, we were fighting on quite a few pay-per-views. So I think Izzy’s at a point where he could just take a little break. And I think he can make the adjustments to come out there and win that fight.”
Usman sees similarities between his situation and Adesanya.
“I was definitely in this position,” he said. “And I, honestly, looking back now, I probably rushed it. I probably should have taken a little bit more time off.
“I’m sure as a competitor he’s thinking this, ‘No, this guy shouldn’t have beaten me in the first place,’” he continued. “Just like I felt — ‘This guy shouldn’t be in there with me,’ as I felt. And so you want to get it back and get that stain off you right away. But! If you’re guaranteed that shot, I’d like to see him take a little bit of time, enjoy life.
“I’d like to see him take a little bit of time and just really be who he is and let your body rest and recover, because when you’re fighting over and over and over, your body starts to break down and you don’t realize it til it’s too late. So I say take a little time.”
Adesanya has been a busy man since joining UFC in 2018. He fought 16 times, and 11 of those fights were title fights. Many fighters talk about fighting three times in 12 months, but that’s just been the standard for Izzy (except in his first year with UFC where he fought four times).
As Izzy’s friend Kamaru said, perhaps it’s time for “The Last Stylebender” to take a little vacation and enjoy the fruits of his labor before jumping right back into the meat grinder.
For complete UFC 293 results, coverage and highlights click HERE.