UFC Pound for Pound Fighter Rankings: Israel Adesanya on the verge of bona fide stardom

UFC Pound for Pound Fighter Rankings: Israel Adesanya on the verge of bona fide stardom
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It’s Israel Adesanya’s world and we are all just living in it. 

At least that’s the feeling that “The Last Stylebender” gave off following a destructive finish of Robert Whittaker at UFC 243 in Australia to unify middleweight titles. 

It would be difficult to discount everything the brash native of Nigeria has accomplished after such an impressive win, which came just six months after Adesanya walked through hell to outlast Kelvin Gastelum in their interim title bout. 

At 30, the former kickboxing phenom has come stepped foot into his absolute prime in a way that suggests we still don’t know what his ceiling is in terms of greatness. And the dynamic style in which Adesanya showed in shifting out of danger and countering clean was reminiscent of former 185-pound champion Anderson Silva. 

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Adesanya has the creative gift of gab to become a true worldwide star who has taken the Oceanic region and his adopted home of New Zealand by storm. Now he has the kind of victories to back up the lofty words he has spoken about himself since making his UFC debut only 22 months ago. 

With seven UFC wins under his belt in such a short time, Adesanya has taken the promotion by storm in ways very few other fighters have ever done. The path won’t get any easier, of course, with unbeaten slugger Paulo Costa likely up next yet.

Should Adesanya continue winning by striking in such a captivating style while avoiding being taken down in the process, he just might get to the level of stardom where a showdown against light heavyweight champion Jon Jones for potential pound-for-pound supremacy actually would make a ton of sense. 

For CBS Sports’ updated divisional rankings, click here.

Men’s pound-for-pound rankings

UFC Power Rankings

Dropped out: None

Just missed: Colby Covington, Dustin Poirier, Paulo Costa, Yoel Romero, Tyron Woodley, Conor McGregor

Women’s pound-for-pound rankings

Dropped out: Cris Cyborg

Just missed: Rose Namajunas, Tatiana Suarez, Jessica Andrade, Ketlen Viera