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Tyron Woodley Explains Why Israel Adesanya Will be UFC’s Second Biggest Star in Two Years

Israel Adesanya continued to build his platform and fanbase in 2019, and Tyron Woodley sees that continuing. So much so, the former welterweight champ believes "The Last Stylebender" will become the UFC's second biggest star in two years.

In a span of two years, Israel Adesanya has blasted up the UFC ranks, secured a middleweight title and has become one of the fastest rising names in all of combat sports. According to Tyron Woodley, “The Last Stylebender” has all the star making components to become the UFC’s second biggest name within the next two years.

Image Credit: UFC / YouTube

Adesanya’s rise

Adesanya arrived in the UFC in early 2018 with a fair amount of hype behind him, albeit, much of it was among the hardcore fanbase who follow prospects. Adesanya had an awe-inspiring career as a kickboxer, and by the time he signed with the UFC, he had put together a pro MMA record of 11-0.

Since then, Adesanya has delivered on that hype and then some. The Nigerian born fighter has gone 6-0 in the Octagon, and has defeated notable fighters and stars like Derek Brunson, Kelvin Gastelum, Anderson Silva and most recently Robert Whittaker. The victory over the latter left Adesanya holding the unified, middleweight title.

Woodley’s prediction

Well, during a recent segment for TMZ, Woodley heaped praise on Adesanya, while predicting the vaunted striker will become the second biggest star in the UFC (quotes via MMA Fighting):

“To be honest, I think Israel is going to evolve into a star right underneath Conor McGregor,” Woodley said. “It’s hard to deny him. He fights crazy, he has great I.Q., he’s tough, he’s shown he can take punches, he’s with the sh*t, he’s gonna talk sh*t in the press conferences, his entrance was the best entrance we’ve ever seen in mixed martial arts – even when freaking Conor had a live music playing in the top, it superseded that in my opinion – [and] he’s getting better with time.”

“For me, I like fights that excite me,” Woodley said. “For me it’s like a respect thing, so if I can get in front of somebody like Carlos Condit or Robbie Lawler back in those days, that sh*t pumped me up. Israel is that guy. I know talent from a mile away, I know star power from a mile away. He, in the next two years, will be right underneath Conor McGregor.”

It’s a compelling point, and others have also made similar arguments. There’s no question that Adesanya has buzzed the MMA world big time with his fighting skills and his abilities on the mic as well. But, some have questioned whether Adesanya won’t surpass McGregor,in terms of star power, in the not too distant future. Case in point, Michael Bisping has argued that Adesanya could overcome McGregor in this respect.

McGregor hasn’t won a fight now since 2016, and if he loses his next outing, it will be significant setback. Not only that, and Bisping alluded to this as well, McGregor has a lot of “negativity” tied to him these days, on account of various incidents and allegations.

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