Former UFC Middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya, has announced he will take a sabbatical break from the combat sport.
The decision comes one month after a surprise loss to Sean Strickland to lose his Middleweight Championship belt.
Recall that Israel Adesanya and Sean Strickland did tussle at UFC for the middleweight championship belt in September 2023.
That bout ended in an unanimous decision in favour of Sean Strickland in Sydney, Australia. A surprise outcome, one Adesanya described as ‘a bad dream’.
As his next move, the 34-year-old Lagos-born fighter has revealed plans for an extended exit from UFC to regroup, change his lifestyle and prepare himself for the future, following his third competitive defeat against Strickland.
Adesanya said: ‘I’m not making any excuses. Strickland got me on the night because he was the better fighter on the night, and he did his work well. He had a good team behind him.
‘Now I’m going to take time to look after myself. I’m not going to fight for a long time. I’m definitely not going to retire, because that’s not me.
” But 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.’ he said.
Prior to this announcement, Adesanya was lined up to face Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 294, but that bout will not hold.
Instead, Kamaru Usman will be the opponent for the undefeated Chimaev on Saturday October 21.
Adesanya explained the Chimaev fight request: ‘I’m sure they called my team up, and my team were like, “He’s not fighting right now”. If I wanted to, I could. That would be cool.’
‘Four fights in the last 14 months, it takes a toll on your body,’ he said.