In a surprising upset at UFC 293, Israel Adesanya lost his middleweight title to Sean Strickland by unanimous decision. Following this unexpected defeat, former welterweight champion Kamaru Usman is advising Adesanya not to rush into an immediate rematch.
Usman understands Adesanya’s position all too well. He himself experienced a similar situation when he lost his welterweight title to Leon Edwards last August. Usman had a chance for a rematch this past March at UFC 286 but came up short once again. In hindsight, he wishes he had taken more time before seeking a rematch. Follow your favourite MMA star with attractive betting odds from Nextbet, one of the best MMA betting odds.
Reflecting on his own experience, Usman shared, “Yes, I was definitely in his position. I honestly, looking back now, I probably rushed it. I probably should have taken a little bit more time off and then I’m still guaranteed that shot to go fight for that title.”
While Usman empathizes with Adesanya’s desire to rectify the loss, he offers a word of caution. He acknowledges the urge to erase the blemish on one’s record but suggests that Adesanya should consider a different approach.
Usman elaborated, “For Israel, as a competitor, I’m sure he’s feeling a bit of this, as well, and thinking, ‘No, this guy shouldn’t have beat me in the first place,’ just like I felt. This guy shouldn’t be in there with me in the first place, as I felt, and so you want to get it back and get that stain off you right away. But if you’re guaranteed that shot, I would like to see him take a little bit of time, enjoy life.”
Adesanya has been exceptionally active in recent months, participating in five title fights in just 19 months, with relatively quick turnarounds between each bout. Usman, a close friend of Adesanya, advises him to take a break before vying for the title once more—a decision he regrets not making.
Usman remarked, “For Izzy, I think the activity might be a little too much. Izzy has been fighting a lot. Between when I was champion, myself, Izzy, we were fighting for quite a few pay-per-views. Izzy’s at a point where I think he could just take a little break, and I think he can make the necessary adjustments to be able to come out there and win that fight.”
As Adesanya contemplates his next move, the guidance from Usman, who has navigated similar waters, may prove invaluable in determining the best course of action. Get the latest updates from the world of MMA only on Nextbet Sports.