Nigeria’s Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middle weight champion, Israel ‘Last Style Bender’ Adesanya has received strange support ahead of his attempt this weekend to win at the higher level in The Octagon, megasportsarena.com reports.
While speculation is lingering over what Adesanya would do should he win the light heavyweight belt a UFC 259, one of his rivals, Aleksandar Rakic is rooting for the New Zealand-based Nigerian fighter to come through with victory.
Rakic (13-2 MMA, 5-1 UFC) meets Thiago Santos (21-8 MMA, 13-7 UFC) in Saturday’s main card opener at UFC 259, which is a crucial bout at 205 pounds, and he acknowledged that victory would solidify a light heavyweight title shot.
However, rather than stay focused only on his bout, Rakic believes he would be in a good position on the same night light heavyweight champ, Jan Blachowicz puts the belt on the line against Adesanya in the main event.
Rakic prefers Adesanya (20-0 MMA, 9-0 UFC) wins the fight against Blachowicz (27-8 MMA, 10-5 UFC), because it would present the most marquee matchup for him in a title shot, saying: “Honestly I would like to fight Israel.
“He’s the biggest name. All respect to Jan, he’s the champion, but Israel is the bigger name. To fight against him and to win against him and take all his legacy would be great. It’s a great opportunity to show I’m ready for the title. The new era is coming.”
That, though, came after renowned writer, Mike Bohn reported that Adesanya’s priority is to return to the middleweight division after UFC 259, even if he Nigerian ace takes the belt in his first ever shot at the heavier category in The Octagon.
Adesanya (20-0 MMA, 9-0 UFC), the reigning champ at 185 pounds, will attempt to make history on Saturday when he moves up to the light heavyweight division to challenge Jan Blachowicz, as he could become the fifth fighter in UFC history to be a simultaneous two-division champion.
However, only one in that group (Amanda Nunes) has moved back down after winning a second belt in a higher weight class and fight observers are already wondering who would be the new No. 1 contender at middleweight, but ‘The Last Style Bender’ added that he has no intention of neglecting his current belt should he also win at 205 pounds.
Adesanya told MMA Junkie: “I’ll definitely go back down to 185. I have something else in my head that might interest (me after). But definitely going back down to 185 is my goal. I want to keep my division moving.”