‘Dana White’s boy’ Israel Adesanya doesn’t deserve rematch says ex-champ

Former champ Henry Cejudo does not want Israel Adesanya to have instant Sean Strickland rematch, but believes it will happen anyway.

By: Lucas Rezende | 1 week ago
‘Dana White’s boy’ Israel Adesanya doesn’t deserve rematch says ex-champ
IMAGO/USA Today Network: Former champ Henry Cejudo opposed to Israel Adesanya's instant rematch.

UFC 293 was a clear low point in Israel Adesanya’s combat sports career. A former Glory and King in the Ring kickboxing champion and now two-time UFC champion, the ‘Last Stylebender’ was entirely outclassed by unheralded title challenger Sean Strickland last weekend in Sydney Australia.

It wasn’t a flash knockout, it wasn’t a sudden submission, Adesanya was beat up on the feet for the bulk of five rounds by a man who got iced standing by his former rival, Alex Pereira, inside of three minutes. Nonetheless, UFC President Dana White has gone on the record to say that he’s strongly considering giving Adesanya an instant rematch. A move that has sparked a lot of backlash from fans, fighters, and pundits.

Israel Adesanya vs. Sean Strickland 2? Henry Cejudo’s against it

Alongside former champion Daniel Cormier, count Henry Cejudo among those none too impressed with Israel Adesanya’s performance against Sean Strickland at UFC 293. However, despite his feelings that Adesanya should need to re-prove his contendership, ‘Triple C’ still believes the UFC will award the City Kickboxing star a chance anyway.

The big reason? Dana White likes Adesanya too much not to award him another shot at gold.

“After losing four rounds to one, does he deserve a rematch now? No, 100 percent no,” Cejudo said on his YouTube channel (transcribed by MMA Junkie). “Daniel Cormier doesn’t believe it, Chael Sonnen doesn’t believe it, the rest of the whole damn world doesn’t believe it. Will he get it? One hundred percent. When you’re Dana White’s boy, when you’re his cash cow, when you’re an entertainer and when you’ve done special things like Israel and you’ve been able to kind of grow the sport, Dana White will give you that opportunity.”

For Cejudo, the biggest point against the instant rematch is not just that Israel Adesanya lost the fight, but the way he did. The way the former champ sees it, Strickland didn’t even pull out anything extraordinary to take the belt, which makes the loss even worse upon further analysis.

“My question is for you, Israel: Is it smart for you to take a fight against a guy like Sean Strickland? Is Sean Strickland the guy to come back after being dominated in a five-round fight? I didn’t see that spark in him. It was a trip. It’s not like Sean Strickland even did anything special either. He fought him the way he fought everybody else, and he was able to win.”

Henry Cejudo sidelined

While he’s taking shots at the former middleweight champion, Henry Cejudo is, himself recovering from a a training injury. The 36-year-old returned from a 3-year hiatus this past spring for a title fight against Aljamain Sterling. Cejudo lost that bout via split decision, and immediately began to toy with the idea of retirement again.

Fortunately for fans, the Fight Ready talent decided he still had more to prove inside the cage. Cejudo was booked to take on Marlon Vera last month, at UFC 292, before injuring his shoulder during fight camp. As of yet his return date to the Octagon is currently unknown. Although Cejudo has stated that he expects to be sidelined only 6-8 weeks for rehab and recovery. The former Olympic gold medalist has stated he hopes to avoid surgery, and has opted for a stem-cell treatment instead.

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About the author
Lucas Rezende
Lucas Rezende

Lucas Rezende is a Brazilian journalist and writer from Belem, Para. He has been covering MMA since 2012 and contributing with Bloody Elbow since March 2015. When not writing, Lucas also teaches English. In his free time, he enjoys reading, slapping the bass guitar and traveling.

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