The time will come, some years from now, when UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya will want to start a family.

Adesanya, 31, told MMA Junkie Radio that he wants to have kids of his own someday – “to be the cool dad” who does things like take them to school and to activities and to the playground.

“I want to be a stay-at-home dad, if I’m being honest,” Adesanya said.

Surprised? Don’t be.

It’s important to Adesanya that starting a family waits until after his fighting career ends. He sees how difficult it is for his friends, coaches and teammates to leave their families for weeks on end to train and compete, and it only reinforces his feeling.

“Right now, I’m focused on fighting,” Adesanya said. “So I don’t have any distractions. … I’m focused on kicking ass and taking names.”

Adesanya (20-0 MMA, 9-0 UFC) has been good at that since before he joined the UFC but especially since his octagon debut in February 2018. His 20-fight overall winning streak is third longest among active UFC fighters behind Khabib Nurmagomedov (28) and Weili Zhang (21), and his nine-fight UFC winning streak is the longest active streak among 185-pound fighters.

Adesanya’s ascent to UFC stardom was rapid, culminating in October 2019 with the middleweight title after knocking out then-champion Robert Whittaker in front of more than 57,000 fans at Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium. Since then, Adesanya has defended his title twice, most recently stopping Paulo Costa in September at UFC 253 to settle a longstanding feud.

With Adesanya’s list of middleweight contenders thin, the next stage of his career is set to begin with an attempt at becoming a UFC dual champion. Adesanya is expected to challenge light heavyweight titleholder Jan Blachowicz early next year. And after that? Maybe a summer date with Jon Jones, whom Adesanya has been compared to and been feuding with for more than a year.

If Adesanya is successful in his move up to 205 pounds, he said not to expect him to remain there.

“(Middleweight is) my perfect fighting weight,” Adesanya said. “… It is fun and games in the way that I make it look easy, but it’s work. It’s a challenge. it’s what drives you. I like doing things that many people would run away from. People run away from a fight, while I run toward it.”

Israel Adesanya after defending his title at UFC 253.

In moving up to challenge Blachowicz, Adesanya is looking to add to his legacy by becoming the latest champ-champ. But there’s something else on the line: his perfect record.

Adesanya has lost before in both kickboxing and boxing. So the way he sees it, there’s no pressure at all to go undefeated in MMA.

“That’s just one of those things that people try and put on you,” Adesanya said. “I’ve had losses in my past that never really changed who I am, never changed the fact that I’m a great fighter. A lot of the greats have had losses. And every time I’ve had a loss, I always come back and knocked someone out. Being undefeated is just a title. It’s one of those titles that people try to hold up like it’s something. But you should see me in the gym. Some days I get my licks, so I know I can be beat.

“But, when it’s under the lights, and the pressure is on, on the biggest stage, and I’m having fun, I’m a hard man to beat. I’m just gonna ride this out the way I’ve been riding it so far. Stay tuned.”

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