To be an MMA fighter, one should be near his peak physical form, with his instincts sharp and movements fluid. Anyone with basic knowledge of human anatomy knows that we can’t maintain such a form forever. This is especially true for MMA fighters which is why the Israel Adesanya retirement news does not come as much of a shock.
Israel Adesanya will likely face the biggest challenge of his life as he steps back inside the Octagon against Alex Pereira for the fourth time (2nd in the UFC) with the aim to reclaim his title. The Kiwi fighter has seen the highs and the lows of the sport and he realizes he can’t be on top forever. During a recent interview, ‘The Last Stylebender’ talked about potential timelines for his retirement.
Speaking about his career, the former champion said,
“I’ve been in the UFC for five years, right? If I’m being honest, I’m not gonna be here in five years. I have other things to do in life. I love this sh*t and I’m f*cking great at it but I never attach myself to this and I’m gonna leave on top. So yeah, that’s the best way I feel like you should leave. But again, I’ve been here five years in the UFC, (snaps fingers) it went like that. We’ll see how long I’m here for but I don’t think it’s gonna be five years.”
How does the Israel Adesanya Retirement timeline compare to other fighters?
One of the sad realities for fighters in the combat sports industry is their failure to retire on top. We recently saw legends like Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua, and Fedor Emelianenko retire with losses in their last fights. Many criticized Khabib ‘The Eagle’ Nurmnagomedov when he decided to walk away with a solid 29-0 record but looking back, that was a proper example of ‘Going out on top’
Fighters like Floyd Mayweather also retired undefeated but after retirement, they got involved in too many unnecessary exhibition fights. One of these fights saw ‘Money’ not being able to KO a so-called boxer like Logan Paul. The ideal time for Adesanya’s retirement would be during his title reign but if he does manage to win the rematch, then it can be a sweet note to end his MMA career on.
Israel Adesanya takes on his long-time rival Alex Pereira on UFC 287.