Israel Adesanya believes Kelvin Gastelum will be his 17th victim within the world of mixed martial arts.
Adesanya will be going one-on-one with Gastelum for the interim Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight gold on April 13. The bout will serve as UFC 236’s co-main event. The winner is expected to clash with Robert Whittaker in a title unification bout later this year.
Adesanya Sees Himself With Interim Gold
During the first UFC 236 press conference, Adesanya said Gastelum can’t stop his streak (via MMAJunkie.com):
“Momentum’s a powerful force, and it keeps on rolling. I’m going to roll over Kelvin.”
“The Last Stylebender” went on to reveal it didn’t take him long to accept the interim title fight:
“Before I left Melbourne, within two days they offered me this fight, and I said, ‘Just let me breathe for a second, let me get out of Melbourne and just chill.’ I think within the next day I was like, ‘Yup, sign me up. I’ll do the fight.’ Interim or not interim, at the end of the day we had a deal. When we sat down, Dana (White), we shook on it: After Anderson Silva, I get a belt in my next fight, and I’m going to do that.”
Adesanya is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Anderson Silva. He was promised a middleweight title opportunity, but has to settle for the interim title shot as Whittaker is out after undergoing surgery for a hernia in his abdomen. Gastelum was supposed to compete for Whittaker’s title on the same card that Adesanya took on Silva.
Do you believe this is Israel Adesanya’s year?