Rising star Israel Adesanya is slated to fight for the interim middleweight title this weekend.
Since making his debut early last year, the Nigerian-born Kiwi fighter has collected five straight wins, with huge victories over big names such as Derek Brunson and his latest victim, Anderson Silva.
Following a convincing decision victory over “The Spider” this past weekend, “The Last Stylebender” inched one step closer to a UFC gold.
With the current champion of the 185-lb class now in the sidelines due to injury, he urged the Nevada-based promotion to strip the Australian of his belt and let him and Kelvin Gastelum fight and die for the UFC middleweight strap to no avail.
Instead, the promotion created an interim title, which will be on the line at UFC 236 this Saturday.
Ahead of this important fight, the Kiwi fighter slammed Whittaker for his inactivity as a champion, even though it was an injury that led to his UFC 234 fallout.
— SPORTS USA (@sportsusa_net) April 8, 2019
Israel Adesanya rocked the MMA world once again after he outlasted the returning Anderson Silva at UFC 234 at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia for his sixteenth win overall in his professional career and his fifth straight in UFC.
The middleweight pair has to fill the void created by Whittaker and Gastelum, who was slated to headline the pay-per-view event. The country’s local hero withdrew from the title bout on just hours notice due to abdominal hernia.
Following the emphatic win, Adesanya called the UFC to strip Whittaker of his belt, citing it was not the first time he pulled out of a title fight. At UFC 221 in February last year, he was also forced to sit out in his title-retention bid against Luke Rockhold due to an injury.
“I think that (interim title fight) is more likely but I don’t like the interim thing because they throw that everywhere.”
“I’m like, look, strip Rob of the belt because this is not the first time this has happened,” he told reporters last February, per MMA Junkie.
Not Showing Up
Days before he takes on Gastelum for the interim title, Adesanya is back at it again, slamming the current middleweight kingpin for his inactivity while stressing he could do more as a champion.
“Dude, the guy has fought twice in three years. Imagine me as champion in three years what I could do. My first year look what I did in UFC, so imagine me in three years what I could do,” he told Ariel Helwani.
“And I actually work, I actually show up to work.”
“Even though I don’t like it all the time, I actually get all the media shit done.”
“I actually perform. So yeah, he can be all like, ‘I’m not here to talk…’ get the fuck out of here.”
“This is part of the game, this is how you become immortal in this game.”
“I am doing my part and that’s all I care about. He can stay over there and do that part.”
If Adesanya gets past Gastelum this Saturday, he will be facing the Australian fighter next for the undisputed title.
Can the “Last Stylebender” continue his hot streak?
(Featured Image Source: Instagram/Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker)