The UFC has seen powerful stars come and go, such as Ronda Rousey and Conor McGregor. Many believe that the upcoming superstar Israel Adesanya, who just beat Australian UFC Middleweight Champion Robert Whittaker to claim the Middleweight Championship in Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia, will be such an anomaly.
UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya’s rise to popularity reminds many of Conor McGregor’s rise to popularity- so is Adesanya the next McGregor?
It is believed even by the likes of Ariel Helwani, an MMA commentator for ESPN, who was quoted with saying that nobody has had such a burst through in the UFC since Conor McGregor.
So Adesanya has already become McGregor in terms of his breakthrough of popularity, but how does he compare in fighting ability?
Israel Adesanya has knocked out Robert Whitaker in Round 2 of their scheduled 5 round bout to claim the UFC Middleweight Championship.
The number one box to tick to superstardom on the path early in a fighter’s career — is to win and win in spectacular fashion.
McGregor did it knocking out Dustin Poirier, Chad Mendes, Jose Aldo, and Eddie Alvarez to be the first man to hold both the lightweight and featherweight title simultaneously. Adesanya’s route to the peak of the division was similar because he was faced against the likes of Derek Brunson, Kelvin Gastelum, and arguably one of the greatest fighters of all time, Anderson Silva.
Like McGregor, who towered over men he described as “midgets” at the 145-pound ranks, Adesanya resembles a giant against the remaining 185-pounders. This means Adesanya has the reach advantage against most of his competition and can successfully pull off a hit without being hit.
Also like McGregor, he dismissed accusations by beating a winner of being handed a simple route. The list of victims on his resume is equally as impressive, although Whittaker might not have reigned as dominant as Aldo.
And like McGregor, Adesanya has managed to make himself look like the king of the division. Whittaker might not have dropped in 13 seconds like Aldo, but he has wholly outstruck his Australian rival, a natural striker.
If Adesanya can do so to the Reaper, there is no reason to believe that the likes of future title contenders “Jacare” Souza, Yoel Romero, and Paulo Costa.