UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya believes he will face Jan Blachowicz next.
It was revealed by UFC president Dana White last month Adesanya would move up and challenge Blachowicz in an attempt to become a two-weight champion.
Of course, Adesanya was originally looking to defend his middleweight title against Jared Cannonier next. But with Cannonier losing to Robert Whittaker last month and White seemingly assuming Whittaker had no interest in a rematch with Adesanya, he gave the green light for “The Last Stylebender” to move up.
And that’s just one example of how things can change in an instant in the fight game.
“The lay of the land, especially in warfare, is ever changing so you can’t be attached to one idea,” Adesanya told MMA Fighting. “I was attached to the idea that I would fight Jared Cannonier but the lay of the land in warfare is always ever changing.
“So when this opportunity came to me it felt like a lay-up from the universe or an alley-oop from the universe and I have to slam dunk it, which I will.”
However, following Glover Teixeira’s impressive win over Thiago Santos earlier this month — which put him on a four-fight winning streak — it appears he is now in with a shout as well.
White, himself, admitted it’s something he would have to figure out. But as far as Adesanya is concerned, he is confident he will still get the next shot at Blachowicz.
“I’m pretty confident it will be my next opponent,” Adesanya said. “Glover had an amazing fight. He did very well. If I’m being objectively honest, rightly so he calls for a title shot cause he feels like he’s up there in age and this is his second shot.
“But I got there first and I feel like I’ve got the right cards in my hand to make this happen. Not saying he’s not going to get a title shot but I was first in line.”
Blachowicz recently came out and stated that Adesanya would find difficulty competing with the extra 20 pounds at light heavyweight. He was also notably excited about inflicting Adesanya’s first career defeat.
Adesanya, of course, will not lose any sleep over Blachowicz and remain confident of getting the win. However, he did give credit to Blachowicz for turning his career around.
“I’ve been impressed by his comeback from a losing record in the UFC,” Adesanya added. “Where most guys would have been cut, to come back and grab the belt in the fashion that he has, I’ve been impressed.”
Do you think we’ll see Blachowicz vs. Adesanya next?