Israel Adesanya to fight in heavier UFC divisions, including upcoming title bout, without adding weight

Source: 1News

City Kickboxing trainer Eugene Bareman has revealed Israel Adesanya won't bulk up for his upcoming bout against UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz, instead keeping him at his "walk-around weight".

Bareman spoke to 1 NEWS today about UFC 259, where Adesanya will take on Blachowicz in a bid to become the fifth UFC fighter to hold two titles simultaneously.

While the fight at the heavier weight class means Adesanya could put on up to 10kg to take on the Polish fighter, Bareman said it isn't neccessary.

"We're not putting on weight — the science of putting on weight and moving up in weight isn't going to be a factor in this fight because we've decided to come in at our normal, walk-around weight," Bareman said.

"We're hoping it gives us the advantages we need to win the fight rather than stack on muscle.

"I don't think, with any amount of time or any amount of weight that Israel could put on, I don't think he's ever going to be stronger than Jan so we've decided, 'Let's try not to get stronger than Jan, let's use that time to better suited endeavours.'"

For many fighters, weight can be a difficult part of their training to manage, with some having to take drastic measures to "cut" their weight ahead of weigh-ins in order to get inside the required restrictions for their classes.

But Bareman said weight shouldn't be in the discussion of someone is looking to be the best fighter in the world.

"That's the ultimate challenge... You have to be willing to take on bigger and heavier opponents as well as smaller opponents.

"If you want to be the best fighter in the world then none of those people that are the champions of their weight divisions are the best fighters in the world — they're the best fighters of their weight division in the world.

"Not many people get to be the best fighter in the world, regardless of weight division."

Bareman said that's why when people think of the best champions in most combat sports, they think of heavyweights as it's commonly thought they'd beat lighter champions who tried to challenge them.

But Bareman added Adesanya is different and would take on opponents regardless of weight — heavyweight included.

"Why not? That's the ultimate challenge — we're trying to be the best fighter in the world regardless of weight.

"You've got to take on challenges like that and risk the biscuit."