Israel Adesanya thinks he could compete for the UFC’s middleweight title next year.
Coming off his stunning striking display in his UFC debut against Rob Wilkinson, “Style Bender” predicts that he will take on Robert Whittaker, if he can “hold onto the belt”, at New Zealand’s Spark Arena in 2019.
“Probably next year; I feel it will be the end of next year,” he told Ariel Helwani when asked when he would fight for the title.
“I don’t know why, but I feel it will be me, and if Robert can hold onto the belt it will be me and him (at) Spark Arena. I’m even getting chills right now when I say it. Yeah, I’ve seen it and I can see it happening by the end of next year.
“I’ve even heard rumors that the UFC is coming back, so I might have to headline that one…we’ll see. I don’t even want to be a headliner. I don’t like fighting late but it’s part of the gig.”
Although he sees the championship in his future, Adesanya, who will face Marvin Vettori at UFC on FOX 29 next, feels that titles are just a means to gain more money and notoriety.
“The belt is not my main goal. The belt is just part of the thing: I’ve got to get the belt so I get more money and become more of a household name, get on Jimmy Kimmel and all that sh*t,” he explained.
“I want to be the guy that the people watch, I want to be the fan favorite…maybe not the fan favorite but if you f*ck with me, I’ll f*ck with you. I just want to be the best and that’s always been the goal.
“The belt is just a fancy tiara that you have to claim along the way. I don’t mind, I look good in gold anyway, it looks good on my black skin.”