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Israel Adesanya shapes up for March 6 UFC 259 fight

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PHOTO: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Israel Adesanya is open to the ‘ultimate challenge’ of moving up to heavyweight in the future, revealed his coach John Bareman.

The middleweight champion has ambitions well beyond his own division and his next fight is against light-heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz.

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Adesanya and Jon Jones have long been stoking the fires of their rivalry and a match-up between the pair at heavyweight, where Jones now resides, would be spectacular.

The City Kickboxing coach told 1 NEWS: “That’s the ultimate challenge (moving up to heavyweight)… 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 is the best fighters in the world — they’re the best fighters of their weight division in the world.

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

“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.’

Despite the fact that Adesanya plans to do something special in the divisions above him, he will not be piling on the pounds to compete with physically larger opponents, including Blachowicz.

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He added: “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.

“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.’

Adesanya’s bid to become a two-weight champion at UFC 259 on March 6.

Culled from dailymail.co.uk

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