After beating Derek Brunson at Madison Square Garden earlier this month, Kiwi UFC star Israel Adesanya indicated he would take a break from training over the summer.

Having trained over the Christmas period for the past few years, the 29-year-old told media he planned to travel to Europe.

But after a conversation with UFC boss Dana White in Australia last week, Adesanya's plans have changed.

"I'm going to stay ready," Adesanya told the Herald. "Europe will always be there."


Among the number of topics Adesanya and White covered was who the now number six ranked middleweight would meet next. The pair discussed the option of Adesanya being the back up for February's middleweight title fight between Robert Whittaker and Kelvin Gastelum, which would have seen him step in if either fighter had to withdraw from the bout, but Adesanya turned it down.

"He mentioned it but I said no, I'm not about that."

Instead, the pair settled on a title eliminator bout that the undefeated Adesanya indicated would send fans of the sport into a frenzy, provided it gets over the line.

Israel Adesanya stopped Derek Brunson in the first round when they met at UFC 230. Photo / Getty Images
Israel Adesanya stopped Derek Brunson in the first round when they met at UFC 230. Photo / Getty Images

Adesanya sent shockwaves through the UFC with his performance in New York against Brunson, decimating the then higher-ranked American in the first round. It was a clinical and precise showing from Adesanya, who thwarted six takedown attempts from Brunson before making his move on the seventh. It was enough to see his stocks explode, and he described the amount of worldwide attention the win brought him as "next level".

Adesanya caught Brunson with a knee to the chin, and followed up to finish the bout inside five minutes. The Kiwi later revealed the same knee he caught Brunson was carrying an injury and almost forced him to withdraw from the bout in the weeks beforehand.

While surgery was a possibility, Adesanya said the injury was no longer causing him any problems, so he had no plans to go under the knife, which bodes well for his next bout.

Although he was unable to give any hint as to who the possible opponent was, the decision to continue a full regime of training over the holiday period could indicate the bout may happen in the early months of 2019.