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UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya claims he will fight for LHW title ahead of Glover Teixeira: 'I got there first!'

Two-division champ? Israel Adesanya is expected to challenge for the light heavyweight title in 2021
Two-division champ? Israel Adesanya is expected to challenge for the light heavyweight title in 2021
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Modified 19 Nov 2020, 20:30 IST
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Reigning UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya believes that he's next in line for the UFC light heavyweight championship.

Adesanya is coming off a second-round TKO win over Paulo Costa to successfully defend his middleweight championship for the second time. Now, 'The Last Stylebender' is looking to become a two-division world champion.

Israel Adesanya is expected to challenge Jan Blachowicz for the UFC's 205-pound title in 2021.

While no official fight booking has been made, UFC President Dana White announced the matchup earlier this month.

Adesanya himself wasn't exactly planning for a light heavyweight title shot. In fact, he was expecting to face Jared Cannonier, but the latter came up short in his title eliminator bout against former champion Robert Whittaker.

“The lay of the land, especially in warfare, is ever changing so you can’t be attached to one idea,” Adesanya explained. “I was attached to the idea that I would fight Jared Cannonier but the lay of the land in warfare is always ever changing," Adesanya told MMAFighting.com.

When the opportunity to become a 'Champ Champ' came knocking, Israel Adesanya said he could not let it pass.

"So when this opportunity came to me it felt like a lay-up from the universe or an alley-oop from the universe and I have to slam dunk it, which I will.”
 “I’m pretty confident it will be my next opponent,” Adesanya continued, referencing UFC light heavyweight titleholder Jan Blachowicz

Many people, especially those in the 205-pound range, believe that Adesanya is jumping the line.

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At UFC Vegas 13 earlier this month, former title contender Glover Teixeira choked out Thiago Santos in the third round and became the rightful number one contender in the eyes of many.

Israel Adesanya himself believes that Teixeira is indeed deserving of a second shot at UFC gold:

“Glover had an amazing fight. He did very well. If I’m being objectively honest, rightly so he calls for a title shot cause he feels like he’s up there in age and this is his second shot."

Adesanya also believes however, that he earned the title shot first:

“But I got there first and I feel like I’ve got the right cards in my hand to make this happen. Not saying he’s not going to get a title shot but I was first in line.”

Israel Adesanya praises Jan Blachowicz for career resurgence

Israel Adesanya is known for his ability to talk trash, but the reigning UFC middleweight champion also gives respect where it's due.

Talking about his potential next opponent UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz, Israel Adesanya sang the Polish star's praises:

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“I’ve been impressed by his comeback from a losing record in the UFC. Where most guys would have been cut, to come back and grab the belt in the fashion that he has, I’ve been impressed.”

Blachowicz indeed got off to a rough start in his UFC career, winning just twice in his first six fights in the promotion.

Blachowicz would then go 7-1 in his next eight contests to earn a shot at the vacant title.

In his first shot at UFC gold, Blachowicz turned in a masterful performance, knocking out Dominick Reyes in just two rounds to become the UFC's new 205-pound king.

Israel Adesanya may be singing Blachowicz praises now, but expect the two to be on a war path if they do end up facing each other in 2021.

Published 19 Nov 2020, 20:30 IST
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