Dana White has confirmed that nothing has changed regarding Jan Blachowicz’s first light heavyweight title defense.
Israel Adesanya always made it clear that he would move up to light heavyweight after he has cleaned out the middleweight division. The one name near the top of the rankings whom Adesanya had not already defeated was Jared Cannonier. For this reason, Adesanya tapped Cannonier to be his next title defense if he were to get past The Reaper.
But following Robert Whittaker’s victory over Jared Cannonier at UFC 254, Adesanya considered the division effectively cleaned since he already holds a victory over Whittaker, who was now the #1 contender. This meant that Adesanya was ready to move up to light heavyweight to challenge new champion Jan Blachowicz for the strap, an idea that was met with the approval from UFC head, Dana White.
Things would become more complicated, however, when Glover Teixeira defeated Thiago Santos in November. This would be Teixeira’s fifth straight victory and his second consecutive win over a top-5 opponent. Teixeira had hoped that with this win, he would be able to change Dana White’s mind and receive a title shot that he and many others believe the 41-year-old had earned:
“I think Dana’s a business guy. He’s going to do (what’s good for) business. But I’m telling you this, he’s a fair man,” Teixeira said following his victory over Thiago Santos in November. “He’s a fair man.
Unfortunately for Teixeira, Dana White confirmed Wednesday in an interview with BT Sport that he still “likes the idea” of a champion vs. champion fight between Israel Adesanya and Jan Blachowicz and that Adesanya is still the planned first title defense for Jan Blachowicz. Blachowicz has stated that he would like his first title defense to take place in March, which leaves the 41-year-old Teixeira as the odd man out for the indefinite future.
Do you agree with Dana White’s decision to grant Israel Adesanya a title shot against Jan Blachowicz instead of Glover Teixeira?