You won’t hear Israel Adesanya  arguing Glover Teixeira  doesn’t deserve a shot at the UFC’s light heavyweight title. But, ‘The Last Stylebender’ still believes he should be next to challenge the new 205 champ, Jan Blachowicz.
Adesanya says he was “first in line”
After Adesanya took out Paulo Costa at UFC 253 in September, he said he hoped to defend the middleweight title against Jared Cannonier next. Provided Cannonier got by Robert Whittaker at UFC 254 in October.
Whittaker ended up winning the fight, however, and as a result, the UFC started working on Adesanya versus Blachowicz.
But, after Teixeira submitted fellow, top light heavyweight contender Thiago Santos earlier this month, the narrative on who should fight Blachowicz shifted, somewhat. The argument being that Teixeira has won five straight now, and the 41-year-old veteran wasn’t shy about making that case publicly.
Recently Adesanya spoke with MMA Fighting , and he had this to say about Teixeira and his title shot callouts.
“I’m pretty confident it will be my next opponent,” Adesanya said. “Glover had an amazing fight. He did very well. If I’m being objectively honest, rightly so he calls for a title shot cause he feels like he’s up there in age and this is his second shot.
“But I got there first and I feel like I’ve got the right cards in my hand to make this happen. Not saying he’s not going to get a title shot but I was first in line.”
And while discussing why he shifted his focus to Blachowicz, after Cannonier lost at UFC 254, Adesanya said this.
“The lay of the land, especially in warfare, is ever changing so you can’t be attached to one idea,” Adesanya explained. “I was attached to the idea that I would fight Jared Cannonier but the lay of the land in warfare is always ever changing.
“So when this opportunity came to me it felt like a lay-up from the universe or an alley-oop from the universe and I have to slam dunk it, which I will.”
Should Adesanya be “confident”?
There’s certainly no question that Teixeira deserves a title shot. But, provided Adesanya is ready and willing to fight Blachowicz in the spring, it would be surprising if the UFC didn’t go that route.
Adesanya – Blachowicz will be a big fight, and if ‘The Last Stylebender’ becomes a champ-champ, then more compelling fights will materialize.
If Adesanya loses to Blachowicz, however, then the chances of ‘The Last Stylebender’ facing Jon Jones at some point will drop off, considerably.