Israel Adesanya won’t be gracing the Octagon any time in the near future. Despite being the most active champion in the UFC’s 30-year history, Adesanya is taking a well-earned break after losing the middleweight title for the second time in less than a year.
In an interview with The Rock, he disclosed his initial goal of pushing the pace and competing as frequently as possible before ultimately stepping away from the sport. However, this level of activity has taken a considerable toll on his body.
Adesanya stated: “What I’m gonna do now… 14 months, four fights as a champion. Find any other champion apart from me and Volk who’s as active like that. I’m the most active champion in UFC history.”
“I know I’m on the back end of my career so I want to do as many as I can because I know when I’m done with this, I’m going to miss it. I’m gonna miss this sh*t so I’m trying to do as much as I can. Then after this fight because again, 14 months and four fights… It’s not just the fights. It’s the training and everything.”
In his most recent bout at UFC 293, Adesanya faced Sean Strickland and ended up losing the 185-pound title in a unanimous decision. However, he refuses to make excuses and readily gives credit where it’s due.
Adesanya commended Strickland and acknowledged his performance. He said: “I don’t make any excuses. Strickland caught me on the night. Was the better fighter on the night and he did his work well.”
“He had a good team behind him. I give him his props, but now I’m going to take time to look after myself. I’m not gonna fight for a long time. I’m definitely not going to retire because I know me.”
“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. I’m going to heal myself up. You won’t see me fight for a long time.”
Adesanya also discussed the possibility of retirement after becoming the only two-time middleweight titleholder in UFC history.
Throughout his remarkable five-year tenure with the UFC, he has participated in 16 bouts. Among them, 11 were being five-round title bouts.
Remarkably, he has never competed less than twice in a calendar year. This was even amidst the global challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Adesanya concluded, “I’m just gonna take my time, heal, and then when I come back, f*cking run for the hills.”