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Israel Adesanya plans on taking a long break from MMA

Israel Adesanya

(Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports)

Israel Adesanya
(Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports)

Israel Adesanya plans on taking a long break from MMA

Former UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya is not planning on stepping into the octagon anytime soon. After losing his belt to Sean Strickland in a historic upset, he wants to take some time off.

Adesanya discussed the future of his fighting career “The Rock.” All quotes via The Score.

“I’m going to take time to look after myself, and I’m not going to fight for a long time,” Adesanya said earlier this week on “The Rock,” a New Zealand radio show. “I’m definitely not going to retire because I know me–I’m not leaving like that. I know me.

“But if I did, I’m fine. I don’t need to prove anything else. But 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 to be. So I’m going to heal myself up. You won’t see me fight for a long time.”

Adesanya has been one of the most active UFC fighters since signing with the promotion. In his six-year tenure, he has fought 16 times with 11 being championship fights. The pressure of a championship bout combined with the necessary training can take a toll on a fighter.

Adesanya’s decision provides some clarity to the middleweight title picture. UFC CEO Dana White revealed that Khamzat Chimaev and Kamru Usman will fight in a title eliminator, which makes much more sense with Adesanya’s name out of the title picture.

Furthermore, Adeanysa’s rematch with Strickland and his bout against Dricus Du Plessis is being put on the back burner.

Adesanya, 34, has plenty of time to reclaim his middleweight throne. The higher-weight classes provide more opportunities for fighters to find success later in their career. If Adesanya takes the proper steps to recover, he could rejuvenate himself and continue to compete at an elite level.

***

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