Eugene Bareman says Israel Adesanya is “finished his little hiatus” as return nears

By Cole Shelton - February 14, 2024

Israel Adesanya is ready to return to the Octagon according to his head coach Eugene Bareman.

Israel Adesanya

Following Adesanya’s decision loss to Sean Strickland to lose his middleweight title he said he would be taking some time off. The former champ had been one of the most active champions in the UFC, so Adesanya said he would be taking time off as he wanted time off to refresh his mind.

“I don’t make any excuses. Strickland got me on the night because he was the better fighter on the night. He did his work well, he had a good team behind him. Now I’m going to take time to look after myself, and I’m not going to fight for a long time. I’m definitely not going to retire because I know me, I’m not leaving like that. I know me. But if I did, I’m fine,” Israel Adesanya said to The Rock a radio station in New Zealand. “I don’t need to prove anything else. But I know what I can do and what I can change in my lifestyle to make my body adapt to where I need to be. I’m going to heal myself up. You won’t see me fight for a long time.”

Israel Adesanya then joked he wouldn’t return until 2027 but that doesn’t appear to be the case. Instead, Eugene Bareman spoke to Combat TV in New Zealand and revealed Adesanya is getting close to making his return.

“Yeah, Izzy’s back training, so he’s back in the swing of things. We’re training just in case there’s an eventuality of a fight,” Bareman said about Israel Adesanya to Combat TV. “We’re getting him fit and he’s getting ready to take up a potential date should one come up soon. He’s basically finished his little hiatus and he’s ready to come back. So just give us a date, give us an opponent and we’ll show up ready to go.”

Not only is Israel Adesanya ready to return, but Eugene Bareman says Israel Adesanya has been training for about a month-and-a-half now, and is looking good.

“I mean, we’ve been going for a good month-and-a-half now, so he’s probably on the edge of starting to look like he’s getting started to get back in shape. Yeah, a couple more months, another month-and-a-half, he’ll be flying. He’ll be back to pre-hiatus kind of level. He’s looking good. It’s good to have him back in the gym. He seems to have a renewed sort of energy, and he’s definitely resided to looking after himself really well. He’s been making the most of his time off and he feels like he’s refreshed and ready to go,” Bareman added.

As of right now, Adesanya does not have his next fight booked but he did recently hint about a potential return at UFC 300 which is still without a main event.


Israel Adesanya UFC