Israel Adesanya doesn’t plan to stick around for long.
At least those were his sentiments when asked about retirement in a recent interview with MMA Fighting.
Speaking to MMA journalist Peter Carroll ahead of UFC 243, ‘The Last Stylebender’ said he has no intentions of sticking around past his expiry date. In Adesanya’s own words, he’s here for a ‘great time not a long time’.
“Reinventing myself? I’ve done that with dancing,” Adesanya said when asked about possibly reinventing himself in the future.
“It might happen with fighting but it just depends on how long I’m around for. As I said, I’m not here for a long time I’m here for a great time. It depends on how long I’m around for and definitely, reinvention is good. People don’t like change, they always complain about it, but I’ll be like, ‘Fuck off, this is my time’. I might become ‘Freestyle’ that might be my new name in a few years — ‘Freestyle’.”
The interim UFC middleweight champion didn’t give a timeline for his UFC career but said he will hang up the gloves when he no longer has the ‘passion’ to compete at the highest level.
“Nah, [I don’t have a time frame on my retirement], it’s a feeling,” he said. “You’ll know, you’ll know the feeling. I’ve seen a lot of people in this game, we know guys in this game that are fighting at an age that they should not be fighting at, even right now. You have to set yourself up right. I’ve bought like…I think I’ve got like 19 properties now since I’ve joined the UFC. I told you, I’m buying Auckland like I’m Chinese.”
“I don’t want to be fighting when I don’t want to fight,” Adesanya continued. “Even when I was fighting in China I met some guys on the local circuit that we’re fighting, they didn’t enjoy it, they wanted to be musicians and do other things, but they’re just fighting because it pays the bills and they get money for it. It’s passion; if I’m not passionate about something I’m not going to do it. After this, I might have my own production company and get into Esports or animation or voiceover acting or…what’s his name…Andy Serkis…I’m coming for his spot!”
Adesanya is currently making final preparations for tonight’s highly anticipated middleweight title showdown with Robert Whittaker. If he wins, the Nigerian-born fighter and former kickboxing champion has hinted at moving up in weight to challenge Jon Jones for the light heavyweight title.
UFC 243: Whittaker vs. Adesanya will take place at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia.