It’s looking more and more like Israel Adesanya’s first UFC middleweight title defense will be against Yoel Romero. Initially, it was expected that Paulo Costa would be the first to challenge “Stylebender,” after besting Romero at UFC 241.
However, following an injury the Brazilian suffered, which required surgery, Romero and Adesanya now seem to be hyping up a fight between each other. Romero training partner and UFC welterweight Jorge Masvidal was asked for his thoughts on Adesanya during a UFC 244 media scrum.
Masvidal shared a post-UFC 239 encounter he had with Adesanya at a nightclub. “Gamebred” said he earned a tremendous amount of respect for Adesanya after what the 185-pound champion told him about Romero.
“Let me tell you about Izzy,” Masvidal said. “I’ll share a personal story with Izzy. Yoel [Romero], everybody already knows, that’s my boy, that’s my brother, we’ve been training together. All that. So I see Izzy after my fight with Ben [Askren] at a club. Izzy is a wild mother f*cker. He’s got his shirt off in the night club, women everywhere – I’m immediately like, ‘I love this mother f*cker.’
“We’re just talking sh*t, shooting the breeze, two fighters who love what they do, you know? He pulls me in closer and says, ‘Let me tell you something Masvidal.’ He’s like, ‘Man, I know Yoel is your boy, but listen, to me, that’s the baddest mother f*cker. Until I fight that dude, my legacy won’t be complete.’ Now, that’s in the club so I don’t know if he said those exact words, “legacy” and “complete.” But he clearly made it to me – and this is why I love Izzy, man.
“Nobody in the history has ever wanted to fight Yoel. Nobody has ever wanted – they get forced to fight Yoel. Ask anybody. Ask one of the toughest mother f*ckers to do it, Whittaker. Ask anybody if they want to fight Yoel. And after you fight Yoel, you see what happens, you’re never the same. Nobody. And Izzy looked me in my soul and told me, ‘I’m going to fight Yoel.’ It didn’t matter who was offered. They could’ve offered him Joe Schmo for the belt, it didn’t matter to him.
“He wanted to fight Yoel. And right then and there, I knew the type of character he was. Like, man, this guy is who he says he is. He wants to fight the best, the baddest of the baddest. I f*cking saluted him and said, ‘God bless you on your journey, man.’ Cause he’s an animal.
Masvidal is preparing to face Nate Diaz in the main event of UFC 244 on pay-per-view (PPV). The pair will be competing for the Baddest Mother F*cker Championship, and the winner could also very well be next in line for a crack at the 170-pound throne.
What do you think about Masvidal’s encounter with Adesanya?