Ex-middleweight contender Chael Sonnen advises Israel Adesanya to consider retirement amidst Octagon hiatus

Chael Sonnen, a former three-time UFC title challenger in two divisions, is a prominent figure in MMA media. Following his retirement, Sonnen stands out as one of the very few who have worked across multiple promotions simultaneously, including UFC, Bellator MMA, PFL, and Eagle FC.

He didn’t mince words when reacting to Israel Adesanya’s recent revelations. In a recent appearance on the Rock podcast, Adesanya discussed his future plans, gaining support from notable figures like Conor McGregor and Jon Jones. Sonnen, on his YouTube channel, also shared his perspective on the situation.

Sonnen recommends retirement consideration for Adesanya

Adesanya recently proclaimed his hiatus from active competition. However, he clarified that he is not retired from MMA. The former middleweight champion was one of the most active champions in the UFC. Since 2019, he has competed in double-digit title fights. After Conor McGregor, Adesanya is one of the biggest pay-per-view stars in the UFC.

Chael Sonnen in his podcast on YouTube had high praise for Adesanya. He even went further to say that Adesanya is the greatest middleweight fighter ever in the UFC. Sonnen’s words as someone who has twice competed against the consensus middleweight GOAT, Anderson Silva, have value. Sonnen has also fought Jon Jones for the light heavyweight champion. Nevertheless, Sonnen is of the opinion that Israel Adesanya should consider retirement.

Israel Adesanya
Image via MMA Junkie

“The American Gangster” is of the opinion that Adesanya not wanting an immediate rematch against Sean Strickland points to the fact the Nigerian-born New Zealand-raised fighter has suffered a burn-out. Sonnen is known for his ambiguous take on situations. Sonnen has never explicitly stated that Israel Adesanya should retire.

It also needs to be noted that Israel Adesanya has lost twice in his past three fights. He lost to Alex Pereira and Sean Strickland in that span. Moreover, Adesanya has stated that he needs to change his current lifestyle to be in fight shape as he is in his mid-30s as of now.

Jon Jones backs Israel  Adesanya’s decision for hiatus

Jon Jones and Israel Adesanya had a fairly intense rivalry when both reigned the light heavyweight and middleweight division respectively. However, a recent interaction showcased both fighters settling their feud. This was after Jones became the heavyweight champion of the UFC.

Jones took it to X (formerly Twitter) to give his support to Adesanya’s decision to take a hiatus. Jones, himself took a three-year hiatus before coming back at UFC 285 where he defeated Ciryl Gane by submission in the first round to become the heavyweight champion of the UFC. The heavyweight champion tweeted, “I just want to let you know I support your decision to take a break from fighting. Taking those last three years off was one of the best decisions I’ve made. Always put YOU first brother. Protect your heart, protect your mimd & spirit. Proud of you Champ.”

In addition to Jones, Conor McGregor supported Adesanya’s decision. It also needs to be noted that Jones, McGregor, and Adesanya are the top three highest-paid fighters in the UFC. With Jones pondering retirement after UFC 295, McGregor awaiting his return from a two-year lay-off, and Adesanya already announcing his hiatus, the stars of the UFC are reaching the end of their career.

Israel Adesanya
Image via MMA Fighting

Jones’ next fight is against Stipe Miocic at UFC 295. Miocic is the former heavyweight champion and consensus UFC GOAT of the division. McGregor on the other hand is presumed to fight his fellow coach at TUF 31, Michael Chandler at the highly anticipated UFC 300.

When do you think will we see Israel Adesanya coming back to fight? Comment below!


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