Israel Adesanya ‘Rooting’ for arch rival Khamzat Chimaev to win at UFC 294: ‘I like new blood’

Israel Adesanya backs Khamzat Chimaev to win at UFC 294 I like new blood

Ahead of his undisputed middleweight title defense at UFC 293 this weekend, Israel Adesanya has already announced plans for a third Octagon walk later this year – weighing up a potential clash with undefeated phenom, Khamzat Chimaev to boot. 

Adesanya, the current undisputed middleweight champion, is slated to return on Saturday night in Sydney, Australia – taking on surging division contender, Sean Strickland in an attempted title defense.

Reclaiming the divisional crown at UFC 287 back in April, Adesanya managed to secure his first combat sports career win over common-foe, Alex Pereira, defeating the Brazilian with a thunderous one-punch KO victory in the second round in Miami, Florida.

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Israel Adesanya flirts with fight against Khamzat Chimaev in the future

Announcing plans for a potential third outing this year ahead of his second walk this weekend at UFC 293, Adesanya has warned Chimaev about the ability of former foe, Paulo Costa ahead of his own respective return in October – however, expects him to eventually prevail with a win.

“I don’t know who’s going to win but I think if I’m favoring, I might be favoring Khamzat (Chimaev) a little bit more,” Israel Adesanya told MMA Fighting during a recent interview. “Because I like new blood.”

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“I just made Paulo (Costa) look easy but trust me, he’s a hard fight,” Israel Adesanya explained. “He’s a hard fight but I made him look easy. But I think I’m rooting for Khamzat more in that fight.” 

Slated to make his comeback fight at UFC 294 in October, Chimaev has been sidelined since he submitted Kevin Holland with a one-sided first round D’Arce choke submission win over the Californian striker in the co-main event of UFC 279 in September of last year. 

Drawing Costa in his comeback to the Octagon, Chimaev has weighed up the pursuit of a middleweight title fight with Adesanya in the past, and is expected to land in and around championship contention with a successful outing against Brazilian rival, Costa in an October return. 

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Would you like to see Israel Adesanya fight Khamzat Chimaev in the future?