Although he has a UFC middleweight unification title fight against Robert Whittaker to prepare for, interim middleweight champion Israel Adesanya is also thinking about another champion in a different weight class.
Speaking to The Mac Life during UFC 243 fight week, Israel Adesanya made a bold prediction, saying that he will fight current reigning light heavyweight champion Jon Jones in 2021 at the new Las Vegas Raiders Stadium. While he pointed out that Jones is a big future opponent, he made sure to note the upcoming middleweight contenders he plans to face as well.
“I wouldn’t say he’s the ultimate, but he’s definitely a boss on the game I want to play against,” Adesanya said. “Raider Stadium, Las Vegas, that’s where it’s going to happen. I decided in July when I was in Vegas.”
When asked about a potential date for a fight against Jones, Adesanya noted he will be focused on the middleweight division for at least this next upcoming year.
“Hmm, with the middleweight division, it’s getting stacked. I like Cannonier right now, [Paulo] Costa I have to take care of, and a few others, I’m saying 2021 [vs Jones]. I’m fighting. Probably early, yeah. The way I fight, six fights in 18 months, obviously I had a long break. It’s harder when you become champion, so much weight to move fast, yeah, we’ll see what happens.”
Adesanya didn’t just stop there when discussing Jones, he was asked if the current champion is still the same fighter he once was, and after seeing him fight live, “The Last Stylebender” doesn’t believe so.
“Nah. I saw him live, when you see someone live, you know,” he said. “Nah, no, he’s not the same.”
This is not the first time that Adesanya or Jones have mentioned each other, as Jones took a big shot at Adesanya earlier this summer, calling him “frail” and also offering to train Robert Whittaker in preparation for the UFC 243 main event.
If both fighters do have plans in their future to fight each other, UFC President Dana White said earlier this year that he is intrigued by that matchup.
Would you like to see Israel Adesanya vs. Jon Jones? If so, how do you see the fight going?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 10/2/2019.