Retired MMA fighter and current industry analyst Chael Sonnen claimed that Israel Adesanya is set to face the winner of the Sean Strickland vs. Dricus Du Plessis fight. According to the promoter, the New Zealander will face the victor at UFC 300, marking his return to the octagon. However, Sonnen said that the former champ should announce it now as doing it after the two’s UFC 297 bout would result in “the perception that it’s a favorable matchup in Izzy’s opinion.”

Adesanya is still currently resting after Strickland stole his belt at UFC 293. “The Last Stylebender” then announced that he would be taking a “long” break but recently retracted it, saying that fans would see him “soon.”

In line with this, Sonnen claimed that Adesanya would be returning in April at UFC 300, saying the fighter would face whoever the winner would be in the Strickland-Du Plessis bout. According to Sonnen on his YouTube channel, the Strickland-Du Plessis bout was announced immediately due to this reason. However, Adesanya still hasn’t made it public. For the promoter, this should be done now as it could give the fighter’s fans and the MMA world a negative perception about him.

“The reason that Strickland and Du Plessis was rushed to the marketplace is because the winner is gonna take on Izzy at UFC 300. Now that isn’t done… But that is the option that is attempting to be preserved the most,” Sonnen explained. “Izzy has spoke on this. Izzy has not given us a commitment, but he’s come close. One thing that I do prefer is that Izzy go first.

“I would prefer that Izzy, prior to Strickland vs. Du Plessis, goes first and says, ‘I’ll be waiting for you in April at 300.’ The reason is because while I know that’s the match they’re trying to procure, if Izzy goes second — which means we’ve established who the winner is and then Izzy makes his choice — it gives the perception that it’s a favorable matchup in Izzy’s opinion. ‘I will agree to it, only after I know specifically who it is.’ That’s just not how Izzy operates. He takes on anybody, the hardest guys. So, I would just prefer that he goes first.”

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