Israel Adesanya’s UFC career may only be three years old, and his time as middleweight champion has only lasted a little under a year and a half, but the ‘Last Stylebender’ is already crafting his legacy as a fighter opponents would love to face. Obviously a large part of that is the chance to grab the UFC gold that a fight with Izzy currently offers, but for at least one top-ranked middleweight there’s a bit more to it.
In a recent interview with MMA Fighting’s What the Heck podcast, former Ultimate Fighter finalist Uriah Hall explained why, even without a belt on the line, he’s champing at the bit to take on the City Kickboxing star.
“The last time I wanted to fight someone so bad was Josh Samman on The Ultimate Fighter,” Hall said. “I want to fight him so bad because I get him. There’s not a lot of dynamic people left, and for those who are dynamic and not winning, they’re trying to be flashy. [I’m talking about] that dynamic with fluidity. I have that fluidity. It’s coming out. I lost it for awhile because I was in La La Land but man, I’m putting my sh*t together.”
“Good god, I want to fight this f*cker so bad,” Hall added. “But with the politics, the media, it’s like someone saying, ‘Well, you’re not worthy.’ Or, it’s the ranking system: ‘We here think you’re number eight. We feel that you’re number eight. We’ve never competed before, but we think you’re number eight.’ Get the f*ck out of here. Who comes up with this ranking system? It’s a joke. So you’re gonna tell me what number I am?”
‘Prime Time’ is currently riding a three-fight winning streak, his first since 2013-15 when he beat Chris Leben, Thiago Santos, and Ronald Stallings back-to-back-to-back. Most recently the Fortis MMA talent picked up a 4th round KO over former champion and middleweight legend Anderson Silva. He’s currently sitting at #8 in the promotion’s official rankings for the 185 lb division.
Hall had been set to fight another former belt holder in ‘All-American’ Chris Weidman on February 13th, but that bout has been delayed following Weidman’s COVID-19 diagnosis. Hall is expected to face the long-time Serra-Longo trained fighter on April 24th instead.
Following his recent title defense win over Paulo Costa, Adesanya is now set to take his first trip up to the light heavyweight division for a superfight against the newly crowned king Jan Blachowicz—in Blachowicz’s first defense of the 205 lb belt. Exactly when the Nigerian-born New Zealander will return to his home division is anyone’s guess. But when he does come back, it seems Hall will be waiting for him.
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