Henry Cejudo Has Two Questions For Israel Adesanya Regarding His Planned Break From The Sport
Adesanya, who first rose to the throne back in 2019, has had his aura of invincibility at 185 pounds chipped away across the past year, first by longtime rival Alex Pereira last November at Madison Square Garden.
While “The Last Stylebender” enhanced his legacy five months later at UFC 287, where he brutally knocked out “Poatan” to exact revenge on the Brazilian and regain the gold, the Nigerian-New Zealander’s sophomore reign fell considerably short of the length of his first.
Last month in Sydney, Australia, Adesanya continued his incredibly active ways inside the cage by headlining UFC 293 opposite Sean Strickland. But while the champ was widely expected to dominate, “Tarzan” upset the odds in a big way by emphatically outpointing the Oceanic favorite.
Following a period of uncertainty regarding his future and a possible rematch with the newly crowned middleweight kingpin, Adesanya recently announced his decision to take a break from competition.
Although that move has been widely praised by fighters, fans, and pundits alike, one peer who knows a thing or two about taking an extended layoff has some questions for Adesanya…
Cejudo Asks Adesanya: ‘Will You Actually Stay Away?’
During a video recently uploaded to his YouTube channel, former two-division UFC champion Henry Cejudo reacted to Adesanya’s clarification regarding his immediate future.
“Triple C” himself recently returned from a break, coming out of a three-year retirement to unsuccessfully challenge Aljamain Sterling for the bantamweight title this past May at UFC 288.
With first-hand experience of an extended layoff, Cejudo is seeking two pieces of information from Adesanya to determine if his planned break will pave the way for a successful comeback down the line.
“I wouldn’t even be around the sport. If I’m Israel Adesanya… you wanna get away from the sport,” Cejudo said. “When I retired the first time, even though I was involved in coaching, I was never really doing anything that had to do with MMA physically… Do I believe he needs a break? One hundred percent. Do I believe he deserves it? Yeah. Do I believe when he comes back, will he get a title shot? Of course. You know why? Because you do it tactically… You want to be missed.
“Israel Adesanya is taking the right step… But my biggest thing as somebody who took the time off, I got two questions for you: How Long? And will you actually stay away from the sport rather than still train and be involved?” Cejudo continued. “To me, that could be the biggest difference on how is it that Israel Adesanya does come back and then eventually regains that middleweight strap once again.”
Like Cejudo, most have acknowledged that the Nigerian-New Zealander has more than earned time away from the sport, having been the UFC’s most active champion across recent years.
With his frequent walks to the cage in mind, it’s unclear how long “The Last Stylebender” plans on staying on the sidelines for. Without clarification on that, rumors about a potential appearance at the milestone UFC 300 event continue to fly.
Israel Adesanya is ready to take a break from fighting 😳 pic.twitter.com/Mih9vQrB9v
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) October 13, 2023
- Read Also: UFC Champion Jon Jones Proud Of Israel Adesanya For Taking A Break: ‘Protect Your Mind, Body & Spirit’
Please provide transcription credit with a link to this article if you use any of these quotes.