Nigeria’s Israel Adesanya To Step Away From UFC Following Defeat to Sean Strickland

Nigeria’s Israel Adesanya To Step Away From UFC Following Defeat to Sean Strickland

Byron Pillay
updated at October 13, 2023 at 7:54 PM
  • Israel Adesanya will be taking some time away from MMA to focus on himself again and his recovery
  • The Last Stylebender was next in line to challenge for the Middleweight title before his announcement
  • Khamzat Chimaev and Nigeria's Kamaru Usman will face off at UFC 294 to crown a new title contender

When will Israel Adesanya set foot in the Octagon again?

That’s the question many are asking after the Nigerian-born dropped a bombshell on fans.

Israel Adesanya with a salute.
Israel Adesanya has confirmed that he will be stepping away from MMA for the foreseeable future. Image: Mark Evans.
Source: Getty Images

As noted by CBS Sports, Adesanya said he would take a break from the sport for a long time.

The former Middleweight champion made the decision after his loss to Sean Strickland at UFC 293. The Last Stylebender stated that he wouldn’t be retiring, but if he did, he would be fine with what he’s accomplished.

“I'm not going to fight for a long time. I'm definitely not going to retire because I know myself. I'm not leaving like that. I know me. But if I did, I'd be fine. I don't need to prove anything else,” he said.

Adesanya added that he wanted to step away to look after himself and get his body back to where it needs to be.

What’s next for the Middleweights?

With the division's former champion stepping away, a new challenger to Strickland’s title will have to be crowned.

Despite being the number one-ranked Middleweight, that person won’t be Dricus du Plessis. Instead, Kamaru Usman will take on Khamzat Chimaev to face the champion.

As noted by the UFC, the former Welterweight champion Usman will take on the number four-ranked Welterweight in a Middleweight bout.

The winner of that bout is reportedly next in line for a shot at the American champion.

Adesanya joins Davido on stage

Nigerian singer Davido sent teeming fans in New Zealand wild during his sold-out concert on Friday night, October 6.

Davido headlined and performed at the Eden Festival in New Zealand alongside some other artists from around the world.

The ‘Feel It’ crooner took his performance to a new level when he brought UFC superstar Israel Adesanya on stage, Sports Brief previously reported.

Byron Pillay photo
Byron Pillay
Byron Pillay is a sports writer and Head of the Department at Sports Brief (joined in 2022) with over 10 years of experience in community journalism and a degree in journalism from Caxton's Cadet School.
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