The reigning UFC Middleweight champion, Israel "Stylebender" Adesanya, hinted at his next fight taking place at UFC 293 in Sydney, Australia, this September. Let's take a look at three of the most likely opponents for his next fight:
"Sweet Dreams" Jamahal Hill is the current Light Heavyweight champion of the world and has been since he defeated Glover Teixeira in Brazil at UFC 283. He was an unlikely title challenger, being ranked #7 in the world when he was called to fight for the vacant belt. Still, he made the most of his opportunity, completely shutting out the former champion in a dominant decision win.
This won't be the first time Izzy has challenged for 205 lb gold. His first loss in the UFC and one of only two blemishes on his record came when he challenged former champion Jan Blachowicz for his title at UFC 259 in 2020. The fight was close, but Adesanya was out-margined everywhere the fight went and lost a unanimous 4-1 decision.
The two are scheduled to throw down in July at UFC 290, and Dana White has already told fans that this fight will produce the next Middleweight title challenger. But as we know in MMA, it's never true until it happens, as we've seen on multiple occasions. Whittaker is the former undisputed and interim champion, as is Adesanya. He's riding a dominant win over Marvin Vettori and defeated Israel Adesanya three rounds to two on The Verdict Scorecard in the fight before that. Many consider him to be the best in the world at 185.
Dricus du Plessis is the hottest new addition to the Middleweight top 10 and is a bonafide South African finisher. He's on a 5-fight winning streak in the UFC and ended four of them inside the distance. His last win was a knockout of Derek Brunson at the end of the 2nd round at UFC 285.
The wildcard. Khamzat Chimaev looms over the title picture at both Middleweight and Welterweight. He's entered the rankings at both weight classes and currently sits in the Welterweight top 5, despite a promised move up to 185 lbs. His most notable win in the UFC is his all-out war with Gilbert Burns, and his last fight was a first-round submission over Kevin Holland. He's one of the biggest stars in the sport and guarantees to bring the action no matter where he fights.