Israel Adesanya likes the idea of Stipe Miocic superfight at heavyweight

Elias CepedaYahoo Sports Contributor
Yahoo Sports
Israel Adesanya speaks during a UFC 242 press conference at Federation Square on Aug. 15, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Getty Images)
Israel Adesanya speaks during a UFC 242 press conference at Federation Square on Aug. 15, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Getty Images)

Even though he’s got a presumably tough fight ahead of him against middleweight champion Robert Whittaker on Saturday at UFC 243, undefeated interim champion Israel Adesanya’s extraordinary abilities have put him into superfight conversations of late. In conversation with Submission Radio this week in Australia, Adesanya and his coach Eugene Baremen discussed one prospective special bout — a fight against heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic.

According to the former kickboxer Adesanya, he has plenty of experience taking on the big guys.

“I’ve fought heavyweight tournaments in kickboxing,” he said.

The fighter’s coach chimed in, saying that he’d prefer Adesanya to skip light heavyweight and go up to heavyweight, if he were ever to move up in class. The 6-4 middleweight went on to say that he wouldn’t even necessarily put on extra weight to fight Miocic.

“There’s certain things we can take advantage of [at heavyweight],” he continued.

“People think, ‘oh you’ve got to put on size’ but that’s because they’re dumb. They don’t understand the game. So, I weighed in with full clothes and a box of Dunkin’ Donuts when I last fought at heavyweight. So, I stayed the same weight but I still packed a punch and I even dropped the second guy, flatlined him.”

Miocic recently became a two-time heavyweight world champion when he avenged an earlier KO loss to former light heavyweight king Daniel Cormier. The two are reportedly lined up for a rubber match.

After that fight, the 40-year-old Cormier has said he will retire one way or another. Miocic would have plenty of advantages over a middleweight like Adesanya, including his wrestling ability, and extreme weight difference, but it is worth noting that he and Adesanya have similar heights and reach advantages.

Before any of that dream matchup stuff can happen for Adesanya, however, he’ll have to get past Whittaker and become an undisputed world champion. He currently holds one of the many UFC interim title belts floating around of late, but also revealed that the belt has been packed away somewhere for sometime, perhaps indicating that he’s looking at Whittaker as the true defending champ and taking Saturday’s fight deadly serious.

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