On Sunday afternoon in Melbourne, Australia, Israel Adesanya became the new UFC middleweight champion with a second round knockout of Robert Whittaker. It was Adesanya’s most impressive performance yet: while it was lacking a lot of the crazy spinning attacks and flair we typically expect from him, it proved “The Last Stylebender” has the finishing power he’ll need to survive a 185 pound division full of Hulk-smash contenders.
Next up for Adesanya? Probably Paulo Costa, who is already engaged in a feud with the New Zealand champion. But down the road, Adesanya has made it clear he sees even bigger fights, including an eventual showdown with light heavyweight legend and GOAT contender Jon Jones. After UFC 243, commentator and two-time Jones opponent Daniel Cormier gave his thoughts on that match up.
”He’s just small. He’s small for Jones,” Cormier said on the ESPN post-fight show. “Jones is a big guy and I think people underestimate how big Jones is until he grabs you, because he’s so big up top. They make fun of how small his legs is, but he’s 225. A lot of his weight is up top. He’s so long that he almost hangs on you. It’s like a towel when you’re in the clinch, and I think Izzy may struggle with that because Jones is so big.”
”I would not mind watching them fight,” he added. “Because if Jones has to stand with this guy, he’s in trouble. Jones is very hittable. But Izzy needs to get a lot bigger if he’s going to fight this guy.”
By his own schedule, Adesanya has a lot of time to pack on extra size. He said he saw a superfight with Jones going down in 2021.
What do you think, Maniacs? Is Adesanya crazy or is this just another opportunity for him to prove the doubters wrong?