While it was expected that Israel Adesanya would be eager to return to the Octagon and avenge the shock middleweight title loss he suffered against Sean Strickland at UFC 293 last month, it turns out the former champ is planning a long hiatus from the sport instead.
“I’m not making any excuses,” Adesanya told The Rock FM. “Strickland got me on the night because he was the better fighter on the night. He did his work well, he had a good team behind him.
“I never made excuses. I gave him props, but now I’m going to take time to look after myself, and I’m not going to fight for a long time. I’m definitely not going to retire, I know me — and if I did, I’m fine, I don’t need to prove anything else — but I know what I can do. I know what I can change in my lifestyle to make my adapt to where I need to be.
“I’m going to heal myself up. You won’t see me fight for a long time.”
At this stage the 34-year-old Adesanya isn’t offering up a more concrete timeline for when he might return, so it’s unclear whether this just means six months out, or is the kind of indeterminate hiatus GSP said he was taking back in 2013 that ended up lasting for four years.
The fact that he’s still throwing out a warning to his middleweight rivals though suggests that it might be more the former than the latter option.
“Right now, it’s like four fights in the last 18 months, it takes a toll on your body.
“I’ve been to the doctors… had to do this specialist test, and I’m just going to take my time, heal.
“When I come back, f****** run for the hills.”