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If you were expecting to see a jacked up Israel Adesanya standing opposite Jan Blachowicz when those octagon doors slam shut, then think again.
The UFC middleweight king is stepping up a division to fight 205-pound champion Blachowicz for the title in March, but his dietitian admits he won't be stacking on the weight during his preperations.
Nigerian-born New Zealander Adesanya has wiped the floor with the 185-pound competition, so the only obvious next step was for him to do the same in the division above.
But according to his dietitian Jordi Sullivan, Izzy isn't concerned about stacking on the pounds ahead of the bout.
"I'm super excited but I don't think the weight ... we're definitely not worried about that," Sullivan toldSouth China Morning Post.
"I'm not going to reveal too much about what we're doing but it's not that drastic a change, because Israel doesn't cut a heap of weight [from 185 pounds].
"He stills cuts weight that week and he comes in as a good size, but there's no need for us to say we need to bulk right up for this one and come in, because Israel is a big dude and he's strong.
"Cutting weight and getting this perceived size advantage is fine and you can play that card when you're top five in the UFC and you're like, '[expletive], I need some kind of edge here, we're just a level playing field'.
"With Israel, he's kinda like a one of a generation fighter. Everyone is here, the best of the best, I still really believe Israel is here [at at the top level], and I think it's hard to argue with that last performance Israel put on."
It's not the first time Adesanya has moved up a weight class to fight a heavier opponent.
During his decorated kickboxing career, he looked significantly bigger when he competed in heavyweight Grand Prix tournaments.
But it appears the elite striker is taking a different approach this time by choosing not to 'bulk up'.
"Everyone always talks about with Israel - 'Oh, he's the little skinny guy'. I don't know if anyone's ever met Israel, he's not a small human - he's massive, he's tall, he's long and he's built," Sullivan continued.
"He's a beast. Especially when he fought [Paulo] Costa, everybody was talking about the size difference. The size difference in terms of weight isn't crazy different. Israel is not by any means a small middleweight.
"That whole issue of the size differential, I don't think it's gonna play into it as much. So definitely the strategy isn't 'get him huge and do this big weight cut coming in', because he's not as small as everyone says, he's really strong for his weight class."
Despite all the skeptics saying that Izzy is too small for the light heavyweight division, they should be encouraged to do a quick google search for his height.
At 6-foot-3-inches, Izzy is actually a fair bit taller than Blachowicz.
And while he's still the bookies' favourite to become just the fifth fighter in UFC history to hold two belts simultaneously, the critics still can't manage to keep their mouths shut when it comes to his size.
Featured Image Credit: Instagram/@stylebender
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