Dana White believes Israel Adesanya is shaping up to be one of the biggest stars in the UFC and that the reigning, undefeated UFC middleweight champion has ‘nothing but good problems’ in his career right now.
Adesanya will be keeping a close eye on the UFC 254 co-main event between Robert Whittaker and Jared Cannonier on Saturday and, although ‘The Last Stylebender’ is rooting for Cannonier to win, White says a rematch with Whittaker would be just as big for his career.
“I know Adesanya’s in a place right now where he’s like, ‘if Cannonier wins, I want Cannonier.’ But if Whittaker wins, the rematch is massive for both of them and it’s obviously a huge fight in Australia and New Zealand and globally too,” White told BT Sport in the weeks following Adesanya’s stunning victory over Paulo Costa at UFC 253 (h/t Abhinav Kini of The Body Lock MMA). “So it makes sense for him to fight him too.”
The UFC president also hinted that Adesanya could go on to face Jon Jones, or perhaps Jan Blachowicz, if things don’t line up at middleweight for his next fight.
“But the incredible problem that we have with Adesanya right now is, he has so many options of what he can do. But no matter what road we go down, if he fights Cannonier, if he fights Whittaker, if he fights [Jan] Blachowicz, if he fights [Jon] Jones — all these fights are going to make this kid a, a lot of money and b, put him down as one of the greatest to ever live. So he has nothing but good problems right now.”
Adesanya is currently undefeated at 20-0 (9-0 UFC) and #3 in the UFC men’s pound-for-pound rankings.
About the author