UFC champions come and go at a rapid pace. It’s the nature of the business, and it certainly helps keep things exciting. However, all fans know that president Dana White loves to have a star to build up for pay-per-view sales. In many ways, it feels like the older stars are all gone or all on their way out, and it’s time for someone new to take the reigns. In the eyes of most fans, the clear biggest draw right now is Israel Adesanya.
New Face of the UFC
Israel’s rise through the middleweight division was meteoric to say the least. He has faced off against the best in the business, with huge wins over Kelvin Gastelum, Robert Whittaker, and Paulo Costa. He has earned respect from fans and the organization, and his next move will certainly be the biggest in his career.
Months ago, Israel announced he was stepping up to the light heavyweight division to challenge the champion, Jan Blachowicz. With Israel’s move up he now has the opportunity to become the next double champion. The MMA community seemingly has infallible confidence in him, as he is the -250 favorite in the UFC/MMA betting odds. This is impressive, but not entirely unexpected, as Israel is undefeated at 185lbs and Jan Blachowicz has yet to defend his newly earned 205lbs title. A win here would make Israel the biggest fighter in the MMA world.
What Does the Future Hold?
If Israel manages to beat Blachowicz at 205lbs, he will surely be the biggest star in the UFC. Presumably he will vacate his 185lbs title, as there is nothing left to achieve in this division. Most UFC fans only have one fight in mind for Israel, and that is a match against the greatest light heavyweight in MMA history, Jon Jones.
In fact, seeing these two face off on the Ultimate Fighter would make the best season ever. The parallels between the careers of Jones and Adesanya have been discussed countless times. Jones has recently left his natural weight class as well, after defeating every major contender over the last decade. Now he too has his eyes set on becoming a double champion, only in this scenario he wants to be the undisputed heavyweight champion.
Israel understands that the only way he is going to get a fight against the legend Jon Jones is by entering his old weight class and making some noise. It’s clear that Israel wants to be entered into the “greatest of all time” conversation, and in his mind the ticket is to beat Jones. While it’s yet to be seen if this dream fight will come to fruition, make no mistake, Israel is on his way to becoming the face of the UFC. This spotlight, and a new light heavyweight belt, may be enough to entice the sensational Jon Jones.