UFC News: Israel Adesanya reportedly backing out of fight against top-ranked fighter
The Last Stylebender was previously set to take on Paulo Costa in his first title defence, however, a bicep injury suffered by the Brazilian #1 contender meant that another fighter was required to step up to the plate.
Yoel Romero's name surfaced last week as a potential opponent for Adesanya, and the former Middleweight title contender has now come out to claim that the current Champion has backed out of the proposed fight.
Romero directed a message to Adesanya in which he revealed that the champ was ducking him for a fight. The Soldier of God claimed that Adesanya was putting out excuses to avoid meeting him in the Octagon.
Here's what Romero had to say on Instagram:
Israel Adesanya won the Middleweight title from Robert Whittaker at UFC 243 and he was scheduled to defend the newly-won title against Paulo Costa at an undisclosed date.
However, Costa will be out of action until mid-2020 and the UFC can't afford to keep a red-hot Adesanya waiting on the sidelines for long.
Dana White told MMA journalist Adam Glynn that Adesanya wants to get into the Octagon with Romero, however, the Soldier of God will have to compete in another fighter before he gets a crack at the title.
The UFC boss stated that Adesanya will face the winner of the proposed #1 contender's fighter between Romero and an opponent whose identity has not yet been revealed.
Romero last fought and lost to Paulo Costa via unanimous decision at UFC 241 and is aching to get his hands on Adesanya. The Cuban is ranked #3 and could ideally face either #4 ranked Jared Cannonier or the fresh entrant in the Middleweight division, #5 ranked Darren Till in a showdown to determine Adesanya's next opponent.
While Romero versus Adesanya is inarguably the money fight to book, is the Stylebender actually not too keen on fighting the former Cuban Olympian?