UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya was among the guests on Ariel Helwani’s first episode of the new look The MMA Hour. With Helwani ‘The Last Stylebender’ talked about one of his favourite targets for ridicule: Jon Jones.
“I don’t think we’re ever going to see Jon Jones fight at heavyweight,” he said (ht MMA Fighting). “Fuck, he’s been saying this since 2013. You either get it done or you don’t.”
Jones vacated his UFC light heavyweight title last year and stated his intention to join the promotion’s heavyweight ranks. Since then he has publicly stated his desire to fight Francis Ngannou, only for the UFC to publicly bemoan the amount of money both Jones and Ngannou wanted for the bout.
The latest word out of both Jones and the UFC is that we shouldn’t expect ‘Bones’ to fight in 2021 and that when he does return to action it will likely be for the heavyweight title. Adesanya isn’t buying that, though, and remarked how he moved up a division to unsuccessfully challenge for the UFC light heavyweight title earlier this year.
“For me, I jumped up within three years of [being with] the company. I jumped into the division ahead of me. The guys up there respect me — even the champion up there gave me my props. So yeah, I just think it’s not something that anyone can do. And he’s getting fat for no reason now.”
Adesanya can envision himself moving up in weight again and he said he hopes to meet Jones when he does.
“I see it. I see it 100 percent,” Adesanya said of an eventual fight with Jones. “But that’s the thing. You’ve got to know when to hold them, you’ve got to know when to fold them, and the song is not over yet. So stay tuned. We’ll fight one day. I don’t know where or how it’s going to happen. I just have an idea of what’s going to happen. But yeah, see if he moves up in weight first. See if he moves up in weight first and deals with these guys there. I think he can, but does he think he can?”
Adesanya’s loss to Blachowicz for the UFC light heavyweight title was the first defeat of the Nigerian-born Kiwi’s career. Prior to that he was riding a nine-fight unbeaten streak in the UFC with wins over Paulo Costa, Yoel Romero and Robert Whittaker.
After his loss to ‘Polish Power’ Adesanya rebounded with a title defense (his third) versus Marvin Vettori in June. Adesanya is expected to face Whittaker, the man he won the title from, sometime in 2022.
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