Alexander Volkanovski Reveals Bold Israel Adesanya Prediction

"I think it's gonna have to be Izzy-Dricus UFC 300 or some card soon."

Alexander Volkanovski Reveals Bold Israel Adesanya Prediction

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It’s easy to make a case for a rematch between Sean Strickland and Dricus Du Plessis after last Saturday night’s close decision. However, Alexander Volkanovski thinks that Israel Adesanya is next in line.

Dricus Du Plessis pulled off the upset against Sean Strickland at UFC 297. The UFC’s No. 2 ranked middleweight eked out a narrow 47-48, 48-47, and 48-47 split decision win to become the new UFC middleweight champion.

A thousand miles away in Australia, Alexander Volkanovski watched UFC 297 at his favourite sports bar. Speaking via his YouTube page, the featherweight champion gave his fearless forecast on what’s next for the UFC middleweight division.

“I think it’s gonna have to be Izzy-Dricus UFC 300 or some card soon,” declared Volk. “I reckon that could happen. Let’s see if Dricus could do a quick turnaround, if not International Fight Week, I think Conor’s on that.”

Adesanya has not fought since losing the belt to Strickland last September at UFC 293. The Last Stylebender was supposed to fight Du Plessis in that event but the South African fighter withdrew with an injury. Strickland stepped in and shocked Adesanya. When Du Plessis healed up, the UFC gave him the first crack at Strickland and he made the best out of his opportunity.

” I did think it was 3-2 for Dricus,” added Volk. “I thought he had the three rounds up, leading into the fifth. I thought he lost the last one but I thought he won three of the first four anyway so it was a close fight. It could’ve gone either way, obviously. There were some rounds that were close…So if it went to Sean it’s no robbery. If it goes to Dricus, obviously no robbery. But I was thinking that Dricus did do enough. It pretty much went how I thought it would.”

The judges were unanimous in giving Strickland rounds 1 and 5 while also scoring Rounds 2 and 4 in favour of DuPlessis. It all came down to the tight round 3 which judges Derek Cleary and Eric Colon gave to Du Plessis. UFC President Dana White even had Strickland winning, but as Volkanovski said, it could have gone either way.

A championship bout that close usually merits a rematch to erase the doubts but a showdown between Du Plessis and Adesanya is obviously the bigger draw.

UFC 300 is an iconic event because it is a centennial number but it will be held on April 13th which is just a couple of months away. So unless Du Plessis makes a quick turnaround, as Volkanovski said, Izzy vs Dricus will likely be on the International Fight Week event in July, possibly as the main event. 

There are reports that Conor McGregor could return in that still-unnumbered event. A Du Plessis vs Adesanya middleweight title bout would not only give the July event more international flavour but also more star power. Meanwhile, Volk is deep in training for his UFC 298 headliner against Ilia Topuria next month. If he wins, Volkanovski could also be in line to fight on International Fight Week.