This weekend UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya looks to join the very exclusive UFC champ-champ club when he takes on Jan Blachowicz for the Pole’s UFC light heavyweight title.
The Nigerian born Kiwi earned his shot at dual champion status after impressively winning and defending his 185 belt on two occasions last year. Last spring he beat Yoel Romero by unanimous decision and then, in September, he pasted Paulo Costa.
With a 205 lber up next, many are wondering just what ‘Stylebender’s’ plans might be, win or lose, after UFC 259.
He spoke with ESPN earlier this week and gave a surprising answer regarding what he wants next in the middleweight division.
When asked who in his home weight-class motivated him, Adesanya pointed to the man ranked fourth in the division: Darren Till.
“I just keep saying, I hope he keeps winning so we can have that fight because you know the vibes,” said Adesanya (h/t SportsKeeda.com). “I just like that style... If he wants to be that Muay Thai master and he thinks he can stand up with me, be my guest. Ya I like Till, I like the style and I’ll like to fight him but he just gotta win man. He just gotta get his sh*t together and keep winning, Till. Come on, scouser.”
Till joined the UFC as a welterweight in 2015. After going 5-0-1 in the division, which included a win over Stephen Thompson, the Englishman earned a 170 lb title fight with Tyron Woodley.
At 2018’s UFC 228 Woodley finished Till by submission. Till then lost to Jorge Masvidal by KO the following year.
After those losses Till moved up in weight to face Kelvin Gastelum. He won that fight by split decision. His most recent bout was last July; a unanimous decision loss to former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker.