There’s no denying that newly-crowned UFC middleweight champ Israel Adesanya ticks all of the necessary boxes for superstardom.
Super-exciting fighting style? Check. Charisma? Check. Wicked dance moves? Check.
It’s took Adesanya just one year to capture a UFC world title and, at this rate, Michael Bisping believes ‘The Last Stylebender’ could eventually surpass Conor McGregor as the biggest star in the promotion.
“Listen, the walkout was great,” Michael Bisping said on his Believe You Me podcast (h/t BJPENN.com). “He’s a star, he’s got charisma, all that type of stuff. And right now he’s poised to set to be possibly the biggest star in the UFC. He could even overtake McGregor at this rate. He really could. Well for one, he hasn’t got the negativity surrounding him. He hasn’t made all the mistakes. Now, who knows? He might go down that route, but I doubt it.”
Behind all of the bravado, however, Bisping believes Adesanya is a super-respectful young man who has a lot of admiration for retired UFC legends such as himself.
“He really went up in my estimations when we had the Hall of Fame ceremony,” Bisping continued. “He was sat there, I don’t know if he was by himself, I’m sure he was with somebody. But when the cameras went on him, [Israel Adesanya] seemed to be just in there paying respect to the Hall of Famers. I mean I like the guy anyway. He’s always entertaining when he fights, brings it every time. He’s entertaining on the mic. On Instagram, he’s very, very funny. He’s got an awesome account, you need to follow that. But just the fact he was there at International Fight Week, he went and paid his respects to people being inducted into the Hall of Fame. I thought, ‘wow that speaks volumes about the man.’”
Following Adesanya’s knockout win over Robert Whittaker at UFC 243, the Nigerian-born talent is expected to defend his title against surging middleweight Paulo Costa in the new year.