Still king of the middleweights, undisputed gold holder, Israel ‘The Last Stylebender’ Adesanya has already called his next shot. Following his one-sided second-round knockout win over challenger, Paulo ‘The Eraser’ Costa tonight – Adesanya laid out his plans to meet with UFC 254 feature, Jared ‘The Killa Gorilla’ Cannonier in his next attempted title defence.

The City Kickboxing mainstay exacted a striking clinic over the course of two-rounds, scoring brutal leg kicks early and often in our headliner, against a hugely-tentative Costa who failed to ever get out of the blocks. Opening a sizeable slice on Costa’s right eyebrow via a picture-perfect head kick, Adesanya scored a knockdown with a counter hook, before forcing referee, Jason Herzog to call a halt to proceedings after some ground-and-pound.

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Speaking with UFC commentator, Jon Anik afterwards, Adesanya claimed he had already contacted Cannonier in regards to a title matchup, detailing how he would earn a championship challenge with a win over soon to be common-foe, Robert ‘The Reaper’ Whittaker.

“”I told you guys, Anderson Silva lived a great legacy, and I said I wanted to do service to the middleweight division, and that’s a hard act to follow,” Adesanya said. “But we’re doing the work right Uge? (Eugene Bareman) – 100%. So I already DM’ed Jared Cannonier, he’s a hell of a dude, I love his energy – beautiful, beautiful man. And I said, ‘You destroy Robert Whittaker and you’re next”. He’s the one I wanna fight next, right Uge? He deserves it. If he beats Robert Whittaker, handily and dominates him, he’s next.

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Adesanya now adds Brazilian phenom, Costa to a lengthy list of talent he’s already dispatched just two-years deep into his Octagon stint. With notable names stacked high on his résumé – the kickboxing ace has managed to notch victories over Marvin Vettori, Brad Tavares, Derek Brunson, Anderson Silva, Kelvin Gastelum, the above mentioned, Whittaker, and in March this year, Yoel Romero to name a few. 

For Cannonier, the surging Texan clashes with former division kingpin, Whittaker at UFC 254 in October on ‘Fight Island’ looking to add the Aussie to a run which includes three high-profile knockouts of Jack Hermansson in his first promotional main event, the previously noted, Silva, and former two-weight WSOF champion, David Branch since his drop to 185-pounds. 

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Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.