Israel Adesanya to challenge Jan Blachowicz for UFC light heavyweight title

November 1, 2020

  • Dana White confirmed UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya would next fight against light heavyweight titleholder Jan Blachowicz.
  • Israel Adesanya defended his middleweight title against Paulo Costa at UFC 253
  • Jan Blachowicz won the UFC light heavyweight title at UFC 253

UFC president Dana White rarely breaks news of new bouts on the night of an event, but revealed a champion vs. champion bout following UFC Vegas 12 on Saturday.

In the promotion’s return to Las Vegas from Fight Island in Abu Dhabi, Uriah Hall sent Anderson Silva packing from the UFC in a bout that White regrets making.

He didn’t regret announcing UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya’s next fight, however. The UFC had focused on the winner of the recent bout between former champion Robert Whittaker and highly regarded contender Jared Cannonier for Adesanya’s next challenge.

Whittaker won the bout against Cannonier in the UFC 254 co-main event. He apparently didn’t want the bout with Adesanya just yet.

“Listen when the fight was over on Fight Island, the last fight, I was like, I’m going to have to sit down with (Adesanya) and convince him on why he needs to fight (Robert) Whittaker,” White said at the UFC Vegas 12 post-fight press conference. “Whittaker comes out and says he doesn’t want to fight him. Craziest s–t I’ve ever seen.

“So there’s no arguing with Israel now. I thought Whittaker deserved the shot and Whittaker doesn’t want it, so we’ll let him do it.”

It being Adesanya stepping up to light heavyweight.

Adesanya has defeated all comers at middleweight, including unifying his interim title with Whittakers middleweight championship at UFC 243. He’s also cleaned house, defeating the likes of Paulo Costa, Yoel Romero, Kelvin Gastelum, Anderson Silva, Derek Brunson, and more since emerging in the Octagon.

One name that he had targeted was Jon Jones. While the two have continued to banter back and forth on Twitter, Jones vacated the UFC light heavyweight title earlier this year to focus on a move to heavyweight.

Jan Blachowicz defeated Dominick Reyes to claim the vacant title at UFC 253, the same fight card that Adesanya headlined when he defeated Costa.

With the middleweight division largely cleared of contenders, aside from Whittaker, Adesanya is now let loose to test his skills at light heavyweight.

White did not reveal a date or venue, other to say Adesanya vs. Blachowicz will happen some time in 2021.

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