Israel Adesanya plays down UFC title fight with Khamzat Chimaev next: ‘I’ve got bigger fish to fry’

Israel Adesanya plays down UFC title fight with Khamzat Chimaev I've got bigger fish to fry

Whilst admitting that a much-clamored for fight with the undefeated, Khamzat Chimaev is a “big” showdown, undisputed middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya claims he has “bigger fish to fry” first and foremost, as he welcomes the emergence of a contender from UFC 290 next month.

Adesanya, the current undisputed middleweight champion, managed to capture the divisional gold back in April against Brazilian rival, Alex Pereira – securing the crown with a spectacular second round KO win over the Sao Paulo native.

As for Chimaev, the undefeated Chechen-born contender has been sidelined since he featured in the co-main event of UFC 279 last September, submitting Kevin Holland with a first round D’Arce choke submission win.

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Moving to 12-0 as a professional, Chimaev, a staple of AllStars MMA – has called for fights with the likes of former champion, Kamaru Usman, as well as current divisional champions, Leon Edwards, and the aforenoted, Adesanya. 

Expected to make his return to the Octagon at UFC 294 in October in Abu Dhabi, UAE – Chimaev has yet to officially book his return to active competition, as rumors of a matchup with former pound-for-pound clash with Usman rumbling along.

Israel Adesanya still describes clash with Khamzat Chimaev as “big”

Touching on a potential fight with Chimaev in the future, Adesanya appeared to knockback an immediate fight with the welterweight contender next, pointing his focus to UFC 290 next month instead.

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“Trust me, I’m not scared of nobody on this f*cking planet,” Israel Adesanya said on IMPAULSIVE. “No one. And also, guess what, I like a challenge. [Khamzat Chimaev] presents something unique that – I’ve seen wrestlers before. It’s a big fight. That’s why i like that. Cheddar makes it better. But he’s got Kamaru (Usman) and after that is probably gonna go for the title.”

“I’ve got bigger fish to fry,” Israel Adesanya explained. “I’m gonna be there in JUly, and I’mma see what’s up. Not with Rob [Robert Whittaker], with [Dricus] du Plessis.”