Israel Adesanya will get the opportunity to get hold of his first UFC title when he takes on Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 236 on April 14 for the interim Middleweight Title. The Nigeria born fighter made his debut just fourteen months ago in the promotion, and now finds himself a step away from Robert Whittaker, who has been side-lined after a dual surgery for a twisted and collapsed bowel as well as an internal hernia of the intestine.
While some say ‘The Last Stylebender’ has not merited a title fight, the 29-year-old believes that his achievements in the UFC so far are unparalleled.
“I think what I have done in the last year especially in the recent years is unprecedented in the UFC,” Adesanya said in an exclusive to News 18 Sports. “No one else has done it like I have done it. And that is through preparation, vision and hard work with my team. Nothing changes to be honest, the spotlight is still the same. It’s another fight. With the belt or without the belt, I am still going to beat him.”
The New Zealand native is coming off a unanimous decision victory over all-time great Anderson Silva – an emotional one for the middleweight fighter.
“We left it all in the Octagon, like true gents (gentlemen) do,” Adesanya spoke when asked about that night. “I took away from that is that I am the best in the work, he said it too.
The 29-year-old further revealed that UFC President Dana White had promised him a shot at the belt had he emerged victorious against Silva at UFC 234.
“I just knew I was fighting for the belt in my next fight because of the deal that I had with Dana. So I was like, cool, yes, I expected that (when offered the Gastelum bout).
When asked about fellow middleweight Jacare’ Souza claiming that he doesn’t deserve a title shot as he has not beaten the top fighters, Adesanya refused to entertain.