Daniel Cormier believes UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya is a problem for all but one of the promotions’s heavyweights.
Adesanya currently rules over the middleweight division, but has made no secret of his plans to move up to the light heavyweight division in the future. He’s also teased a potential move all the way up to heavyweight before all is said and done.
Cormier, the former UFC and light heavyweight champion, weighed in on how Adesanya would fair in these heavier divisions in a recent interview with Helen Yee.
Cormier began by rating Adesanya’s chances in the light heavyweight division, specifically in a matchup with the division’s greatest fighter, Jon Jones.
“I’m not sure that he’ll beat Jones,” Cormier said. “Look man, you can’t just say you’re certain guys [Jones] that will lose. I’m just saying, if forced to make a pick right now, with the way Adesanya has looked lately and the way Jones has looked lately, I would tend to lean toward Adesanya—especially if Jones is forced to stand with him.
“Thiago Santos is a good kickboxer, but make no mistake about it, he is not Israel Adesanya. Dominick Reyes is a good kickboxer but he’s not Israel Adesanya,” Cormier added. “Those guys were able to give Jones a ton of problems.
“Adesanya, if he’s able to keep this fight standing, which he has proven time and time again that he’s able to do, is a problem for not only Jon Jones, but all the way up to heavyweight with Stipe Miocic.”
From there, Cormier elaborated on how Adesanya matches up with Miocic, the reigning UFC heavyweight champion. He claimed that the middleweight champion could cause problems for any heavyweight on the roster—with the possible exception of heavyweight knockout artist Francis Ngannou.
“If [Miocic] has to stand with him, from heavyweight down to 185 [pounds], it’s a problem, because he’s that good in that one particular skill: the striking,” Cormier said. “He’s that good in striking [in kickboxing], and now he’s doing it in four-ounce [MMA] gloves. He’s a dangerous guy. He’s a dangerous guy for everybody—maybe not Francis. Maybe not Francis, because Francis is knocking people’s heads off. Maybe not Francis, but all the rest of the heavyweights got their hands full with Adesanya.”
What do you think of these comments from Daniel Cormier? Could Israel Adesanya be a problem in the heavyweight division?