Israel Adesanya will take on Marvin Vettori at UFC 263. 'The Last Stylebender' will try to successfully defend his middleweight title for the third time. Adesanya and Vettori meet in a rematch after the Nigerian won a split decision victory in their last meeting.
The middleweight champion's invincible aura broke when he lost his last fight against UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz. The Polish fighter handed Adesanya the first loss of his MMA career.
'The Last Stylebender' took the loss really well and had only good things to say about the Polish fighter. He also apologized to his fans and promised them that he will bounce back stronger.
Many people have started to doubt Israel Adesanya's skills after the last fight. But we believe that the middleweight champion is still one of the best fighters on the planet.
Here are five reasons why Israel Adesanya is the pound-for-pound best fighter in the UFC right now:
3) Israel Adesanya is constantly improving
Currently ranked at number four in the pound-for-pound rankings, Israel Adesanya has shown massive improvements with every successive fight.
'The Last Stylebender' gave MMA fans the 'Fight of the Year' when he defeated Kelvin Gastelum to win the interim UFC middleweight championship. This was the New Zealander's toughest MMA fight to date.
Adesanya put his striking superiority on display in the next fight when he outclassed champion Robert Whittaker every second of the fight before eventually knocking 'The Reaper' out. The fight showed that the 31-year-old had learned a lot from his fight with Gastelum.
Adesanya's last fight at middleweight was against Paulo Costa. UFC president Dana White had predicted the clash to be a 'Fight of the Year' contender, but Adesanya showed that he is levels above the 'The Eraser'.
'The Last Stylebender' pieced up Costa with leg kicks and feints, putting on an absolute clinic and finishing 'Borrachinha' in the second round of the fight.
2) An active champion
One of the major reasons behind Israel Adesanya's meteoric rise to stardom is his activity inside the octagon. The middleweight champion made his first walk to the octagon in February 2018.
After a successful debut, it only took 'The Last Stylebender' 20 months and 6 wins to capture UFC gold.
The Nigerian-born fighter also has two title defenses against dangerous challengers Yoel Romero and Paulo Costa. The impressive thing is that Adesanya called these fighters out, showing he is not afraid of a challenge.
1) Israel Adesanya is undefeated at middleweight
Israel Adesanya is always on the lookout for the next big thing, and that is what led the middleweight champion on the hunt for the light heavyweight championship.
But his loss to Blachowicz does not in any way mean that 'The Last Stylebender' is on a declining slope. Adesanya is 20-0, with seven bonuses in nine UFC appearances as a middleweight.
It is not a stretch by any means, then, to say that Adesanya is currently the best middleweight in the world. He subsequently has a solid claim to the pound-for-pound crown in the UFC.