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Michael Bisping Believes Israel Adesanya Could Pass Conor McGregor And Become MMA’s Biggest Star

Conor McGregor likely remains the biggest star in all of MMA, but Michael Bisping believes Israel Adesanya could push the former champ aside in that respect.

Although Conor McGregor hasn’t fought much in recent years, and no longer holds a UFC title, the consensus is he remains the biggest name in MMA. But, according to Michael Bisping, Israel Adesanya could be headed to becoming the sport’s top star.

Israel Adesanya
Image Credit: UFC / YouTube

McGregor’s fame

If you’ve followed MMA for several years, you know that McGregor has been the biggest draw in MMA for a while. The Irish fighter joined the UFC in 2013 and quickly became one of its top stars due to his accomplishments in the cage, and because of his verbal gifts for self-promotion and trash talk.

Since then, McGregor has won the UFC’s featherweight and lightweight titles, and he’s competed in four of the UFC’s top-selling PPV cards to date. Not only that, in 2017, McGregor boxed Floyd Mayweather Jr. in what was one of the biggest fights in history.

Although McGregor was submitted by Khabib Nurmagomedov last October, and despite his well-documented incidents and scandals, he remains a massive figure in combat sports.

Bisping believes Adesanya could become the biggest star

Well, recently a lot of comparisons have been made between the rise of McGregor and that of Adesanya’s. In a span of approximately 18 months, Adesanya has gone 7-0 in the UFC and earlier this month, he unified the middleweight titles by taking out Robert Whittaker. Like McGregor, Adesanya has also generated a tonne of buzz with his highlight-reel striking and abilities on the mic.

As a result, during a recent episode of the “Believe You Me” podcast, Bisping said this about “The Last Stylebender” (quotes via MMA Mania).

“Listen, the walkout was great,” Bisping said. “He’s a star, he’s got charisma, all that type of stuff. And right now he’s poised to set to be possibly the biggest star in the UFC. He could even overtake McGregor at this rate. He really could. Well for one, he hasn’t got the negativity surrounding him. He hasn’t made all the mistakes. Now, who knows? He might go down that route, but I doubt it.”

“He really went up in my estimations when we had the Hall of Fame ceremony,” Bisping continued. “He was sat there, I don’t know if he was by himself, I’m sure he was with somebody. But when the cameras went on him, (Israel Adesanya) seemed to be just in there paying respect to the Hall of Famers. I mean I like the guy anyway. He’s always entertaining when he fights, brings it every time. He’s entertaining on the mic. On Instagram, he’s very, very funny…’”

It’s an interesting point, and there’s certainly reasons to believe (as Bisping noted) that Adesanya could reach superstardom status. Especially if he ends up fighting Jon Jones down the line. That would be a massive bout, and if Adesanya could hand Jones his first, real defeat, “The Last Stylebender” would have a strong case for being the best fighter on the planet.

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