Kamaru Usman believes Israel Adesanya needs to take some time off after being dethroned by Sean Strickland.
At UFC 293, most people didn’t expect Strickland to secure a unanimous decision win. Yet, the 32-year-old got the job done, putting Adesanya in a difficult position. ‘The Last Stylebender’ must now choose between taking an extended layoff or pursuing an immediate rematch.
During an appearance on DC&RC, Kamaru Usman offered Adesanya advice by saying:
“For Izzy, I think the activity might be a little too much. Izzy has been fighting a lot. Between when I was champion, myself, Izzy, we were fighting for quite a few pay-per-views. Izzy’s at a point where I think he could just take a little break, and I think he can make the necessary adjustments to be able to come out there and win that fight.” – Quotes from MMA Junkie
Over the last year, Adesanya has lost two of his last three fights. In November 2022, the former UFC middleweight king suffered a TKO loss against Alex Pererira. Five months later, he avenged the defeat before being matched up against Strickland.
Kamaru Usman relates to Israel Adesanya’s situation after losing in the UFC 293 main event
In August 2022, Kamaru Usman was on the wrong end of the Knockout of the Year when Leon Edwards head-kicked him to become the UFC welterweight champion. Usman pursued the immediate rematch and lost again, raising concerns about whether or not he retired too fast.
Kamaru Usman’s situation against Edwards is similar to what Israel Adesanya is facing now. Therefore, ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ put himself in Adesanya’s shoes by saying this during the same appearance on DC&RC:
“For Israel, as a competitor, I’m sure he’s feeling a bit of this, as well, and thinking, ‘No, this guy shouldn’t have beat me in the first place’ just like I felt. This guy shouldn’t be in there with me in the first place as I felt and so you want to get it back and get that stain off you right away. But if you’re guaranteed that shot, I would like to see him take a little bit of time, enjoy life.” – Quotes from MMA Junkie
Adesanya has not revealed what he plans to do next. If he decides to pursue an immediate rematch, Dana White showed interest in making the fight happen before claiming those plans could change.
Meanwhile, Dricus du Plessis hopes to compete for the middleweight title next, but the UFC doesn’t seem happy with his decision to not fight at UFC 293.