With Israel Adesanya vs. Paulo Costa likely off the cards (‘Borrachinha’ is reported to have suffered an injury in training), it’s expected that ‘The Last Stylebender’ will defend his newly-acquired middleweight title against feared MMA veteran Yoel Romero.
In fact not only is the UFC looking to book the matchup, but Jorge Masvidal says Adesanya feels he has to fight ‘Soldier of God’ for his legacy.
At a recent UFC 244 media scrum to promote his highly anticipated ‘BMF’ title fight with Nate Diaz (h/t Jon Fuentes of The Low Kick MMA), ‘Gamebred’ detailed his wild encounter with Adesanya at a nightclub in Las Vegas, where he said the newly-crowned middleweight champ referred to Romero as one of the ‘baddest’ fighters in the game.
“Let me tell you about Izzy,” Masvidal said. “I’ll share a personal story with Izzy. Yoel [Romero], everybody already knows, that’s my boy, that’s my brother, we’ve been training together. All that. So I see Izzy after my fight with Ben [Askren] at a club. Izzy is a wild mother f*cker. He’s got his shirt off in the night club, women everywhere – I’m immediately like, ‘I love this mother f*cker.’
“We’re just talking sh*t, shooting the breeze, two fighters who love what they do, you know? He pulls me in closer and says, ‘Let me tell you something Masvidal.’ He’s like, ‘Man, I know Yoel is your boy, but listen, to me, that’s the baddest mother f*cker. Until I fight that dude, my legacy won’t be complete.’ Now, that’s in the club so I don’t know if he said those exact words, “legacy” and “complete.” But he clearly made it to me – and this is why I love Izzy, man.
“Nobody in the history has ever wanted to fight Yoel. Nobody has ever wanted – they get forced to fight Yoel. Ask anybody. Ask one of the toughest mother f*ckers to do it, Whittaker. Ask anybody if they want to fight Yoel. And after you fight Yoel, you see what happens, you’re never the same. Nobody. And Izzy looked me in my soul and told me, ‘I’m going to fight Yoel.’ It didn’t matter who was offered. They could’ve offered him Joe Schmo for the belt, it didn’t matter to him.
“He wanted to fight Yoel. And right then and there, I knew the type of character he was. Like, man, this guy is who he says he is. He wants to fight the best, the baddest of the baddest. I f*cking saluted him and said, ‘God bless you on your journey, man.’ Cause he’s an animal.”
Masvidal will take on Diaz later tonight in the UFC 244 main event at Madison Square Garden, New York.