UFC 230: Could Israel Adesanya “Leapfrog” Into a Title Fight Like “The Last Stylebender” Says?

Chris Weidman recently said he’s been told he’ll lock up a title shot at UFC 230, if he’s victorious, but it looks like Israel Adesanya has other ideas…

Weidman is scheduled to fight “Jacare” Souza on Saturday, after his original opponent for the co-healdiner, Luke Rockhold, had to bow out with injuries. Recently Weidman said his camp’s been told he’ll take on the winner of the upcoming fight between the 185 champ, Robert Whittaker, and Kelvin Gastelum, provided he beats Souza.

Well, while talking the media recently, Adesanya had this to say, while discussing what could come next, if he defeats Derek Brunson this weekend (quotes via MMA Junkie):

“Right now, we need another show in Auckland, New Zealand, and I feel that’s the fight (against Whittaker),” Adesanya said. “One year, I skyrocketed up the ranks. Next year I’m going to snatch the belt off Robert in Spark Arena, Auckland, New Zealand. It’s going to be historic.”

“If Robert wins against Gastelum, that’s going to be the one where it’s like the Kiwis versus the Aussies. The all-black versus the wallaby. That’s sports rivalry. It’s classic. I can leapfrog them anytime.”

Could Adesanya actually secure a title shot at UFC 230? Even thought he’s currently sitting in the #9 ranking?

As I noted before, you just never know. If Weidman loses to Souza, and Adesanya records an impressive win over Brunson, then “The Last Stylebender” could jump all the way up into a title fight. Souza is not that long removed from a stoppage loss to Whittaker, and he’s coming off a split decision loss to Gastelum. So, it’s hard to imagine Souza getting a title shot next, unless, he does something truly awe inspiring.

And what if Weidman wins tomorrow? Chances are he will be ahead of Adesanya in the title shot race, if that happens. But, here again, anything can happen. Adesanya represents a fresh face in the title shot picture, so, if he runs through Brunson in highlight reel fashion, the UFC could come calling. Especially, as Adesanya alluded to, if Whittaker wins and the UFC wants to put that fight in Australia. That would be a massive bout for the region.

But, Adesanya has to get by Brunson first; an experienced wrestler who has fought many of the UFC’s top middleweights, and who has a ton of power in his hands.

UFC 230 will be hosted by Madison Square Garden in New York City. In the main event, heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier will take on Derrick Lewis.

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