After becoming the undisputed UFC middleweight champion in October last year, Israel Adesanya said he wanted to be an active champion.
With a number of contenders in his sights, the 30-year-old wants to fight at least three times in 2020 - the first in early March.
Speaking to the Herald , Adesanya's head coach Eugene Bareman said their camp was progressing towards a contract agreement to meet Cuban contender Yoel Romero in Las Vegas at UFC 248.
The respective athletes' camps have been in talks with the UFC about the fight, and Bareman was positive they would get the bout over the line.
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"It's very close. We're working on that as we speak with the powers that be at the UFC. With fights of that magnitude there's just a whole lot of small particulars and small details that have to be hashed out, but we're confident that our team will get a satisfactory deal that will help and aid both sides involved.
"We're in training camp for that fight; that's how determined we are to make sure that fight, under the right circumstances, gets inked - signed, sealed and delivered."
The fight, should it be confirmed, would be the first of a minimum of three fights Adesanya wants this year. The 30-year-old has been active throughout his kickboxing and mixed martial arts career, and wants to remain that way while he's a champion.
Bareman had similar plans, and said while Adesanya wanted to fight a minimum of three times, all going well he would make the walk at least five times this year.
"I never like to look too far ahead. At the moment Yoel Romero is on the radar, but if you want to stretch me a little bit, obviously Yoel Romero and Paulo Costa are the immediate two leading contenders, but (on the UFC 248 card) you've got Robert Whittaker and Jared Cannonier fighting and the winner of that is going to put themselves possibly in that third spot - especially if it's Cannonier.
"That's three fights, but three is minimum. We used to fight 21 times so if it was up to me and I could get Israel in the gym a week after he finishes his fights, then we'll fight five times and that'll leave room for people like Darren Till and maybe even another fight - you just never know.
"If you can fight 21 times in a year, you can fight five times. He's on three, conservatively; I'm on five."
Yoel Romero (Cuba)
13-4 (11 KO)
Unanimous decision loss against Paulo Costa, August 2019
Luke Rockhold, Chris Weidman, Ronaldo Souza
2000 Olympic Games silver medallist in wrestling
Paulo Costa (Brazil)
Record: 13-0 (11 KO)
Last fight: Unanimous decision win against Yoel Romero, August 2019
Notable wins: Yoel Romero, Uriah Hall, Johny Hendricks
The consensus No1 contender, Costa is sidelined by an injury and is not expected back before April.
Jared Cannonier (USA)
Record: 13-4 (8 KO, 3 submission)
Last fight: TKO win over Jack Hermansson, September 2019
Notable wins: Jack Hermansson, Anderson Silva, David Branch
Fun fact: Cannonier started in the UFC as a heavyweight in 2015, before dropping to light heavyweight in 2016 and then to middleweight in 2018. Since moving to middleweight, he's won three straight fights by TKO.
Robert Whittaker (Australia)
20-5 (9 KO, 5 submission)
KO loss against Israel Adesanya, October 2019. Lost the UFC middleweight title.
Yoel Romero (twice), Ronaldo Souza, Derek Brunson.
After losing the title to Adesanya, there's no doubt Whittaker would like a rematch.
Darren Till (England)
Record: 18-2 (10 KO)
Last fight: Split decision win over Kelvin Gastelum, November 2019
Notable wins: Kelvin Gastelum, Stephen Thompson, Donald Cerrone
Till made the step up to middleweight late in 2019 and won his debut in the class against one of the top ranked fighters in the division. Probably another win or two away at middleweight from being a serious title contender.