The rivalry between current UFC champions Jon Jones and Israel Adesanya is arguably stronger than ever, but that doesn’t mean the combat stars will lock horns anytime soon.
That’s mostly due to the fact that Jones currently competes in the UFC’s light heavyweight division and Adesanya one rung below at 185 pounds. While Adesanya’s more than capable of moving up to take a shot at Jones, “Last Stylebender” just became the undisputed UFC middleweight champion and must first win a few title defense, starting with his upcoming matchup with Yoel Romero at UFC 248 this March.
With speculation that Jones will make an eventual move up to heavyweight in search of another UFC title it’s possible that by the time Adesanya is ready for the grudge match “Bones” will no longer be at 205 pounds. That would close the door for most middleweights looking to move up and make history, but Adesanya is willing to do whatever it takes to get his hands on the best pound-for-pound fighter the sport has to offer.
“I saw something on Instagram that by the time he goes to heavyweight the fight will be – who gives a (expletive) about weight?” Adesanya told “Submission Radio.” “I’ve never given a (expletive) about weight. Since when? It’s never been an issue for me. I’ve been a heavyweight in boxing, in kickboxing. I’ll do it in again in MMA. So, it’s never been an issue for me. He can try and run to heavyweight, but I’ll chase him down. I’ll hunt him down if I have to.”
Adesanya, who currently holds an undefeated MMA record of 18-0 (7-0 UFC), has competed higher than middleweight during his professional kickboxing days, but this might be a little more involved. Jones is already one of the most physically gifted fighters on the UFC roster. Packing on muscle and moving up to heavyweight will only make “Bones” that much more difficult to deal with, especially for a smaller fighter like Adesanya.
Still, “Last Stylebender” remains unfazed.
“Yeah, let him go to heavyweight,” Adesanya said. “Right now, I’m working at middleweight. If he wants to come, he can skip the line if he comes down to middleweight. I’ve said that already. But I’m sure he can’t do that because his frame won’t let him. So, let me do my work, shut the (expletive) up, and I’ll come see you when it’s time.”
In order for any potential Jones vs. Adesanya superfight to actually take place both UFC champions need to win their next fights. While Adesanya will have his hands full with Romero this March, Jones will have to get past undefeated light heavyweight contender Dominick Reyes at UFC 247 next weekend in Houston, Texas.
“I know that when I’m fighting, he tries to talk (expletive) about me when I’m fighting to try and take away the attention from my fight onto him, or to try like, you know, make it about him for whatever reason,” Adesanya said. “But it’s my show. Yeah, but I don’t really care. If Dom wins, good on Dom, happy for him – and I think he’s got a big problem on his hands with Dominick Reyes as well. But if Dom wins, doesn’t matter, I’m still coming for that ass.”