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Israel Adesanya Drops Bombshell, Vows Prolonged Hiatus from UFC

LockerRoom Team
14 October 2023

In a startling revelation on New Zealand's "The Rock" radio show, former UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya declared a significant hiatus from the octagon. After suffering an unexpected loss to Sean Strickland at UFC 293 last month, Adesanya divulged his plans to step away from the fight game for an extended period.

"I never make excuses, I gave him props, but now I'm going to take time to look after myself and I'm not going to fight for a long time," Adesanya disclosed during the interview, sending shockwaves through the MMA community.

Although Adesanya clarified that he is not retiring, the 34-year-old fighter emphasized the need to focus on healing his body. Having engaged in an unparalleled four title fights in just 14 months, Adesanya's decision to take a break challenges the norms of a champion's relentless schedule in today's UFC.

"The Last Style Bender" candidly shared, "I know me, I'm not leaving for that. I know what I can do, and I know what I can change in my lifestyle to make my body adapt to where I need it to be."

Adesanya's recent fight history has been intense, with nine bouts since March 2020, all of which were title contests. Despite a knockout loss to Alex Pereira in November, Adesanya rebounded with a victory in their rematch in April, citing injuries leading into the initial defeat.

As one of the most celebrated middleweight fighters in MMA history, Adesanya boasts five successful title defenses at 185 pounds. The Nigerian-born fighter, raised in New Zealand, has become a beloved UFC star over the past several years.

ALSO READ | Israel Adesanya could have mental problems, says Sean Strickland

UFC president Dana White's initial plan for an immediate rematch between Adesanya and Strickland now appears uncertain. With Khamzat Chimaev set to face former welterweight champion Kamaru Usman at UFC 294, the winner is expected to be Strickland's first title defense, leaving Adesanya's future in the octagon shrouded in suspense.

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