Israel Adesanya Wants Uriah Hall vs. Paulo Costa Winner Next

Israel Adesanya Wants Uriah Hall vs. Paulo Costa Winner Next

Rising UFC middleweight prospect Israel Adesanya discusses his lofty plans for 2018 and beyond.

May 9, 2018 by FloCombat Staff
Israel Adesanya Wants Uriah Hall vs. Paulo Costa Winner Next

By Daniel Vreeland

Israel Adesanya has never been one to focus on the small picture. 

Even though the UFC announced Adesanya would face Brad Tavares as the headliner of the Ultimate Fighter 27 Finale, the New Zealand kickboxing wizard is already looking to what lies beyond the UFC’s No. 10-ranked middleweight. 

The mental preparation for Adesanya is so extensive he’s thinking steps ahead of where he currently sits. In his interview with the Top Turtle MMA Podcast on FloCombat, Adesanya discussed what’s on the docket for him this year. 

“I just want to fight the best, and they're putting a tough test in front of me and I want to blow past this test, pass it with flying colors and keep moving on with my journey,” Adesanya said of the Tavares matchup. 

As far as the journey itself goes, Adesanya already has a road map to where he’d like it to go. 

“I’m looking at everyone in that division,” Adesanya said. “I already know who I want next. I wanna fight the winner of Uriah Hall and the Brazilian kid [Paulo Costa].”

Although a matchup with the winner of Hall vs. Costa may be next should he get by Tavares, that doesn’t mean Adesanya’s line of vision stops there. 

In fact, he’s got a former champion on his radar, and the target now knows about it. 

“When I was at UFC Atlantic City, we sat close to Chris Weidman and I told him multiple times around the hotel, ‘I appreciate what you’ve done… When you broke Anderson Silva’s leg I cried, but I wanna fight you,” Adesanya said.

Adesanya does not want people to see this as a version of modern-day MMA beef. In fact, the UFC middleweight dislikes the current structure of MMA callouts. 

All the online name-calling and pressing for matchups is not a path he plans to take. Instead, he believes in doing things the right way. He means no disrespect by his call-out, and it’s no cry for public attention. 

He simply said it because he wants to test himself. 

“This is no Internet shit, no f*cking Twitter fingers," Adesanya said. "As a man with respect, I wanna test myself and I think he is still one of the best. Definitely, I look forward to fighting him. So that’s where my mind is at.”

And while his ming is there now, it’s hard to imagine that Adesanya won’t be looking forward to the fights that might come after that as well.