Israel Adesanya has announced that he will be taking an extended break from fighting following his loss to Sean Strickland at UFC 293. Adesanya, the former middleweight champion, suffered a lopsided unanimous decision loss to Strickland in September. He has also had legal issues after pleading guilty to drunk driving stemming from an incident in August.
Adesanya made it clear that he is not making excuses for his loss to Strickland and gave credit to his opponent. However, he has decided to take time off to focus on himself and will not be competing for a while. While he is not retiring, he wants to heal and make changes in his lifestyle to be in the best possible condition for his return.
Adesanya, who has lost two of his last three fights, previously regained the middleweight title with a knockout win over Alex Pereira at UFC 287 in 2023. Despite considering stepping in on short notice to fight Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 294, he and his team decided that it wasn’t the right time. Adesanya has a message for his future opponents, stating that when he returns, they should be prepared to “run for the hills.”