Ahead of Israel Adesanye’s light heavyweight fight with Jan Blachowicz, the middleweight champ’s dietitian Jordi Sullivan has refused to accept that the Nigerian fighter is a small man.
There have been weight concerns as The Last Stylebender takes a rare leap beyond his division to challenge 205-pound king Jan Blachowicz on March 6 at UFC 259.
According to SCMP, Adesanya could become just the fifth UFC fighter to hold titles in two weight divisions simultaneously if he manages to defeat Blachowicz.
Speaking to SCMP MMA, Sullivan that he is “super excited but I don’t think the weight” adding that Adesanya’s weight is “definitely” nothing to worry about.
“I’m not gonna reveal too much about what we’re doing but it’s not that drastic a change, because Israel doesn’t cut a heap of weight [at 185 pounds].
“He stills cuts weight that week and he comes in as a good size, but there’s no need for us to say we need to bulk right up for this one and come in, because Israel is a big dude and he’s strong.
“Cutting weight and getting this perceived size advantage is fine and you can play that card when you’re top five in the UFC and you’re like, ‘[Expletive], I need some kind of edge here, we’re just a level playing field’.
“With Israel, he’s kinda like a one of a generation fighter. Everyone is here [at one level], the best of the best, I still really believe Israel is here [at a higher level], and I think it’s hard to argue with that last performance Israel put on.”
“Everyone always talks about with Israel – ‘Oh, he’s the little skinny guy’. I don’t know if anyone’s ever met Israel, he’s not a small human – he’s massive, he’s tall, he’s long and he’s built,” Sullivan added. “Shout out to coach Sunz [Singh] who’s been his long-term strength and conditioning coach.
“He’s a beast. Especially when he fought Costa, everybody was talking about the size difference. The size difference in terms of weight isn’t crazy different. Israel is not by any means a small middleweight.
“You talk to people who train with him every day and you watch him train, he’s different in many ways. The way he moves and sees things, and slips, punches and counters. I see hundreds of thousands of fighters train but no one does it like Israel.
“That whole issue of the size differential, I don’t think it’s gonna play into it as much. So definitely the strategy isn’t ‘get him huge and do this big weight cut coming in’, because he’s not as small as everyone says, he’s really strong for his weight class.”
The Last Stylebender (20-0), in his last UFC fight, defeated Paulo Costa (13-1) with a second-round TKO on Fight Island, Abu Dhabi, in September for his second middleweight title defence.
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