Over the course of the last few years we’ve seen Israel Adesanya rise up and become one of the biggest stars in mixed martial arts. From the moment he debuted in the UFC that always felt like a distinct possibility, and now, the middleweight king is enjoying the success he’s been able to have at the elite level.
This weekend he’s set to defend his strap once again with Jared Cannonier being the latest challenger to step up and take a swing. While he’ll obviously want to keep hold of the championship at UFC 276, especially given the fact that he’s headlining the International Fight Week card, the gold may not actually be as important to him as it once was.
During a recent promo video, ‘The Last Stylebender’ revealed that he falls into a similar category as Conor McGregor with regards to his priorities in the fight game.
“I don’t care about wins or losses anymore to be honest,” Adesanya said. “I don’t care about belts. I couldn’t tell you where the belt is right now.
“Conor McGregor doesn’t even have a belt. He hasn’t fought in how long and he’s still one of the biggest superstars in this game because he’s made himself that way. All I want to do is just show off. I want to show my essence, I want to express myself, I want to show off.”
McGregor last won a belt back at UFC 205, and yet, he’s still considered to be the biggest name in MMA by quite a distance.
Notorious looms large
Despite Adesanya being one of the biggest draws in the sport, Conor McGregor still casts a large shadow over the UFC as a result of his insane star power.
He’s still slowly but surely recovering from the broken leg he suffered last summer but it does feel like we aren’t too far away from seeing him back in the cage.
When he does return, a blockbuster showdown at welterweight – and perhaps a run at the belt – could be on the cards.