UFC Champion Israel Adesanya Says He Will "Definitely" Try Pro Wrestling One Day

UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya made headlines across the combat sports world following his successful title defense at Saturday's UFC 276. Before defeating Jared Cannonier by decision, the Stylebender made his entrance to the octagon flanked by bell tolls and smoke. Adesanya emerged from the ramp donning a familiar wide brim open crown hat and holding an urn with his opponent's name on it, a complete homage to WWE Hall of Famer The Undertaker. This tribute to the Deadman was more than a simple way to instill fear into Cannonier, as Adesanya is a genuine fan of professional wrestling.

Adesanya hopes to eventually leverage that fandom and his mixed martial arts experience into a professional wrestling career, as he believes it's more of a when, not if, he steps inside the squared circle.

"Definitely, that is something I'll try my hand at later on, just for fun. I'm not saying it's going to be a full-time job, but I'm definitely going to jump in the WWE or something along that line just for the entertainment factor," Adesanya told BT Sport. "Because I grew up jumping off the couch, broke my arm, shooting stars, yeah."

This is not the first time that the 23-1 fighter has teased a pro wrestling run. This past February, Adesanya told talkSPORT how he envisions himself making his first WWE appearance.

"You might just see me sneak up from under the ring one day like, 'What the f--k! That's not Hornswoggle!'" Adesanya said.

Adesanya's mention of "WWE or something along that line" indicates that the kickboxer might be looking beyond Vince McMahon's promotion for a future career in pro wrestling. AEW has never been shy about spotlighting mixed martial artists, as Dan Lambert's American Top Team has been a staple of weekly programming since last summer. Notable UFC fighters like Jorge Masvidal, Amanda Nunes, Junior Dos Santos, and others have showed face on AEW Dynamite, with some even representing ATT in the ring for a multi-man street fight at AEW Full Gear 2021. Regardless of where he might end up, he had plenty of notable wrestling names in attendance for his most recent UFC victory.

If he is to make the leap, Adesanya finds himself with a leg up on his fellow pro wrestling hopefuls. Not only is he a trained fighter, but he comes with sharp promo skills as well. Adesanya's press conferences and post-fight interviews have drawn comparisons to some of the great UFC trash talkers, like Conor McGregor and Michael Bisping.

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For now, Adesanya looks forward to his next UFC contest. While unconfirmed, the Stylebender has his sights set on Alex Pereira, the 6-1 mixed martial artist who holds two kickboxing victories over Adesanya.