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Israel Adesanya Becomes Newest UFC Middleweight Champion After Beating USA's Gastelum

Last night, in the co-main event of UFC 236, undefeated Nigerian-born Kiwi Israel Adesanya captured the interim middleweight title with a thrilling decision defeat of Kelvin Gastelum. With this victory, Adesanya can now look forward to a title-unifying showdown with undisputed champion Robert Whittaker — but that’s not the only big fight on the horizon for him.

Over the last few days, Israel Adesanya has been trading barbs with UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. So much so that there is already some buzz for a potential fight between them.

Adesanya was asked about this fight after UFC 236. He brushed the notion off for the time being, content instead to bask in the glory of his victory.
“This is about me,” he said at the UFC 236 post-fight press conference (via MMAjunkie). “This moment is right now is about what me and what me Kelvin did tonight. None of that. I’ll address that at another time. But right now, it’s about me.”

UFC President Dana White, on the other hand, drooled over the matchup —though he acknowledged that Israel Adesanya has some work to do at middleweight before any prospective jump up to light heavyweight.

(Adesanya has) got Whittaker to look forward to now,” White said. “Whittaker is a bad dude. He’s bigger than Kelvin, he hits harder than Kelvin, and he needs to focus on him right now.

“I know him and Jon Jones have been talking some smack, and listen, if he wins, and he becomes the middleweight champion, obviously I’d love to see him and Jon Jones fight. But we’ll see how everything plays out and timing. Because the other thing is if Israel fights Whittaker and wins, there’s other guys that have been waiting in line, too, to fight for the title. If (Ronaldo) ‘Jacare’ (Souza) keeps winning and doesn’t get a title fight, that guy might kill me.

“But that Jon Jones fight is going to be out there for Israel no matter what. That ain’t going anywhere.”

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