Much has recently been made of a potential fight between UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jones and UFC middleweight champ Israel Adesanya. If Adesanya’s coach Eugene Bareman has his way, however, Adesanya will skip right over Jones and the light heavyweight division and battle UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic.
“No,” Bareman said on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show when asked about a Jones vs. Adesanya fight (via MMA Mania). “I believe me and Israel are in a certain place where we don’t have to give a person of Jon’s nature the opportunity that Israel can bestow upon him.
“That’s why I suggested, and this isn’t set in stone or anything, but if we were going to do a super fight we would much rather do it against Stipe. A good dude, a nice guy. A stand up guy. Let’s do it against him, let’s not give someone like Jon Jones an opportunity. That’s just how my team operates.”
This is not the first time Bareman has discussed an Adesanya vs. Miocic matchup. He also did so on a recent episode of Submission Radio, expressing reluctance to let Adesanya fight Jones.
“There’s ethical and moral issues that don’t sit well with my team, and they would be very reluctant to give a man like him the sort of opportunity that Israel can bestow on him,” Bareman said. “We have a track record of not fighting certain opponents even though they make sense.
“And I’m not talking about in UFC, I’m talking about locally, because they’re just not good people,” he continued. “And Israel can want to fight him and have all the desire in the world to fight him that he wants, but it’s not his decision. It’s not solely his decision. So, if my team decides that … it would just be hard for me to look at my team and ask them, should we give Jon Jones this opportunity considering the type of person he is?”
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 10/14/2019.