Israel Adesanya will look to become only the fifth double champion in UFC history next month.
The UFC middleweight champion goes for light heavyweight glory at UFC 259 when he challenges Jan Blachowicz.
Adesanya is still unbeaten as he looks for his second UFC titleGetty Images – Getty
Going from 185lbs to 205lbs is not an easy transition and the Nigerian-born star is famously lean for his weight, but he’s been putting in the work ahead of his move up a division.
Lest we forget, Adesanya is 6ft 4in and at middleweight – where he is 20-0 and 9-0 in UFC – is regarded as one of the strongest competitors.
Taking on Polish Power, though, will be a different task and Blachowicz will be naturally stronger.
Aware of this, Adesanya has been busy piling on the pounds and posted progress of his training on Instagram with under a month to go before his titanic clash.
He wrote: “UFC 259 is stacked and so am I.”
Adesanya has been putting in the work to get to 205lb
The 31-year-old has retained his cut, lean physique despite having to put on some weight for the encounter and it’s a tactical move.
Adesanya wants to remain quicker and slicker than his opponent and have more advantages than just power and strength.
It will be interesting to see how things go if Blachowicz and Adesanya get in the clinch or they decide to grapple, but this is more likely than not going to be a striking contest and you could argue the swifter, more accurate striker is Adesanya.
If Blachowicz can land on the man fighting out of New Zealand, though? Different story.
The Last Stylebender has a desire to take on the division’s king, Jon Jones, at some stage, but he’ll have to bulk up to heavyweight if he wants to do so, with Bones expected to make his bow at that weight later this year.
Adesanya’s coach Eugene Bareman says his fighter is prepared to do that.
“That’s the ultimate challenge,” he said.
Jones has moved from light-heavyweight to challenge the big guys in the heavyweight divisionInstagram @jonnybones
He is likely to fight the winner of Miocic vs NgannouInstagram @jonnybones
“You have to be willing to take on bigger and heavier opponents as well as smaller opponents.
“If you want to be the best fighter in the world then none of those people that are the champions of their weight divisions are
the best fighters in the world — they’re the best fighters of their weight division in the world.
“Not many people get to be the best fighter in the world, regardless of weight division.
“Why not? That’s the ultimate challenge — we’re trying to be the best fighter in the world regardless of weight.
“If you want to be the best fighter in the world then none of those people that are the champions of their weight divisions are the best fighters in the world — they’re the best fighters of their weight division in the world.”
Jones is waiting in the wings and is likely to fight the winner of Stipe Miocic vs Francis Ngannou for the heavyweight title, however, UFC boss Dana White would love to see Jones vs Adesanya.
“That’s the fight I would love to see,” he revealed in December. “Somebody asked me ‘if you could make one fight in 2021, what would it be?’ That’s the fight. That’s my pick.”