UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya has revealed that he isn’t that attached to his championship belt.
Over the course of the last few years, very few fighters in mixed martial arts have been as impressive as Israel Adesanya. The man known as ‘The Last Stylebender’ went 5-0 in just over twelve months to establish himself as a genuine title contender, earning a shot at the interim strap against Kelvin Gastelum.
After defeating his foe in an all-time classic before eventually unifying the title with a victory over Robert Whittaker, Adesanya began to move through the remainder of the 185-pound division.
Up to this point, he’s successfully defended the belt four times with triumphs over Yoel Romero, Paulo Costa, Marvin Vettori and, once again, Whittaker.
While you’d think the gold would be his prized possession, Adesanya admitted during a recent interview that he doesn’t have much of a physical attachment to it.
“The belt? I actually don’t even know where it is right now, Eugene knows where it is, I don’t. I’m not attached to that thing, I know who the f*** I am. I’ve been the champ before the belt, so yeah. It’s heavy. It doesn’t need to be that heavy, but I think they made it heavy for the emphasis, so you know you’re holding something like woah, this is something of substance. It’s a cool belt, I like it.”
The next challenger awaits
At UFC 276 on July 2, Israel Adesanya will defend the UFC middleweight title for the fifth time when he collides with Jared Cannonier.
This is a match-up the champion has been talking about for a while now, recognising just how efficient Cannonier has been since his move to the weight class.
The 38-year-old has won five of his last six and if Adesanya doesn’t take him 100% seriously, there’s every chance we could see an upset during International Fight Week in Las Vegas.
Either way, though, this is a division that continues to go from strength to strength and with a parade of new faces lining up, it’ll be interesting to see if Adesanya sticks around.