Following his UFC 259 defeat to Jan Błachowicz, ‘The Last Stylebender’ Israel Adesanya has stated that becoming a WWE Superstar is very much a possibility.
Speaking with BT Sport [prior to his first UFC defeat at UFC 259] Adesanya would express a desire to enter the WWE, outlining it as a dream event and confirming that he would consider making the switch should the opportunity arise:
“I’ve never spoken to them about it directly but I speak to a few — well a couple of guys from the Attitude Era, my era…Never spoken about it but yeah, growing up, that was before I even knew what the UFC was or that it existed. That was definitely a dream of mine or path to I guess being where I’m at right now in the public eye was being a WWE superstar so yeah, definitely is a possibility.”
‘The Last Stylebender’ was undefeated in the UFC reaching an impressive 20-0 record at Middleweight level, including victories over notable names such as Anderson Silva, Yoel Romero and Paulo Costa.
However, in an attempt to expand his dominance to the Light Heavyweight Division [with the intentions of setting up a dream money match against one of UFC’s all-time greats- Jon Jones] Adesanya would fall victim to the dominant Light Heavyweight Champion Jan Błachowicz via unanimous decision.
Jon ‘Bones’ Jones was quick to call out Adesanya for his LH Division defeat, stating that he should have focused on his match before pretending to be on his level:
“If you ever wrote me talking s**t about Izzy beating me, slap yourself.”
If Adesanya was to enter into the world of professional wrestling he would join a long list of legendary combat sports athletes to enter the squared circle including most noticeably UFC Hall of Famer Ronda Rousey who in 2019 became one of the first women to main event WrestleMania alongside Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch.
WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon recently described stepping into the ring against Ronda Rousey as her toughest ever moment also discussing the importance of Ronda Rousey in advancing the legitimacy of women’s wrestling to the mainstream.
Israel Adesanya is not the only recently defeated UFC star to hint towards a future in Pro-Wrestling, ‘The Imfamous’ Conor McGregor recently responded to NXT Champion Finn Balor on Social Media, stating “No More Mr Nice Guy” prompting WWE’s own Triple H to respond simply “just say when”.
Former WWE Champion Sheamus also recently expressed his desire to see McGregor step into a WWE ring, speaking with Digital Spy ‘The Celtic Warrior’ stated:
“He’s teased [coming to WWE] a couple of times. He’s still staying active, he’s a lad who’s won belts, he’s done a lot, so I think he’s that type of person who’s always trying to try his hand at something different. I think WWE would suit him down to the ground. You know, we’ve had a lot of people come in and out, [Floyd] Mayweather came in, a lot of celebrities have come in, a lot of sports people. So I don’t think anyone would raise eyebrows if he came in to WWE. I don’t think it’s if, I think it’s a matter of when to be honest. If he wants to come in there with me, that’s grand. He might get the fight of his life there, he might get couple of slaps he’s not used to. But that’s what it’s all about, getting in there and seeing a different type of environment. In UFC you fight once a year or twice a year, in WWE we’re fighting every week. We’re taking big bumps every week, the physicality we go through is crazy. It’s a different world we’re in, I think it’s definitely more competitive, it’s definitely more physical. It takes more edge being in WWE than it does doing the UFC stuff. I’ll probably get slated online for saying that but until you actually do our schedule you don’t really realise how tough it is. But as I said, if he wants to come in and give it hand I have no bother stepping in the ring with him.”
With Israel Adesanya’s plans of becoming a Triple-Division Champion seemingly over, it remains to be seen what the future has in store for ‘The Last Stylebender’ be that in UFC or the WWE.