Former UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya has announced his intention to leave mixed martial arts after his rematch with Alex Pereira, Brazilian mixed martial artist.
After suffering his third loss in his boxing career at the hands of longtime rival Pereira last year, the Nigerian star lost his belt. The task facing Israel Adesanya is that on April 9 at UFC 287 in Miami, he is condemned to defeat Pereira.
Adesanya’s most recent fight, albeit he lost, was his first in the middleweight division since joining the UFC, and if he wins back his title later this year, he still has a lot of work to do.
The 33-year-old has stated that he plans to try to end his career on a high note and that he wants to reclaim his title as the division’s king.
Adesanya has had tremendous growth in the martial arts scene and is currently second in terms of compensation among UFC fighters, only behind his close friend Conor McGregor.
He will be hoping to exact revenge this time after being stopped in the final round of his two kickboxing defeats against the Brazilian. The Nigerian-born New Zealander still enjoys a 23-2 record.
Ahead of his rematch with Pereira, Adesanya held a press conference in Australia where he insisted that his days in the UFC are numbered.
He said: “I’ve been in the UFC for five years, right?”
“If I’m being honest, I’m not gonna be here in five years. I have other things to do in life. I love this sh*t and I’m f**king great at it but I never attach myself to this and I’m gonna leave on top.
“So yeah, that’s the place where I feel like you should leave. But again, I’ve been here five years in the UFC, (snaps fingers) it went like that. We’ll see how long I’m here for but I don’t think it’s gonna be five years.”