A superfight between UFC champions Jon Jones and Israel Adesanya could be years away from actually happening, but the combat world still loves talking about the potential clash of stars.
The two fighters have been butting heads for quite some time now and don’t seem to be letting up anytime soon. Just over the past two months Adesanya has called Jones “washed up” for his performance against Dominick Reyes at UFC 247, while Jones has ridiculed Adesanya for narrowly defeating a 42-year-old Yoel Romero at UFC 248.
With so much back and forth, Jones and Adesanya have given the MMA world plenty of ammo to dissect. This has led to the breakdown of a potential matchup between the two stars, which is exactly what former UFC middleweight champion and current color commentator Michael Bisping did earlier this week.
“On the feet, they’d match up pretty well,” Bisping told Submission Radio. “I can’t see why Israel wouldn’t have at least an equal footing or potentially an advantage. We saw in (Jones’) last few fights he’s not invincible, he’s not superhuman – he is beatable. Everybody’s beatable, trust me. And Jon, the longer he does it, the longer he goes, it’s kind of a game of odds. At some point, someone’s going to beat him, and it seems to be happening more and more. I mean, the fight against Dominick Reyes – and I’m not trying to dump on Jon Jones – but I feel that Reyes won that fight.
“The one before, Thiago Santos, that was a close fight, and Thiago Santos had a bloody blown ACL from Round 1. The fight before that, Anthony Smith. So, you know, Jon isn’t unbeatable, and Adesanya is also undefeated. They’re both pretty undefeated in my eyes. It’s a great fight. I’d love to see it one day, but I’m not sure I would ever see Israel at heavyweight. That’s why I kind of laughed there, ’cause he’s certainly very tall. But he’s a light middleweight at the end of the day. So at heavyweight, he’s gonna have a big disadvantage there.”
While most people would agree that Adesanya’s elite striking would give Jones problems on the feet, it should also be noted that “Last Stylebender” has never faced an opponent like Jones. Adesanya has certainly encountered world-class talent throughout his days in kickboxing and UFC, but nothing that could compare to Jones’ size, power, dexterity, pestering oblique kicks, standing elbows, and ability to absorb damage.
Despite his recent breakdown of Jones vs. Adesanya, Bisping doesn’t believe the fight will actually happen. However, “The Count” overly appreciates the efforts of “Last Stylebender” to wile up one of the best MMA fighters of all time.
“I like what he’s doing with Jon Jones – I like what he’s doing,” Bisping said. “I don’t know if that fight will ever happen. It probably won’t. Not anytime soon. I think Jon’s talking about going up to heavyweight, so obviously that would put a barrier between them. But I like it. I certainly liked seeing Israel talk (expletive) about Jon Jones. It is funny. I just sit there in the morning eating my Corn Flakes and get a little chuckle out of it. So, yeah – he’s great, he’s great. I’m a big fan.
“He’s great – undefeated, which is very marketable. He looks good, he talks good, he fights good. The guy’s a superstar. He’s got all the qualities that the UFC are looking for in a superstar, and he fights great.”
There’s no denying Adesanya’s abilities inside of the cage and overall worth in the middleweight division, but is the undefeated champion good enough to knock off Jones at light heavyweight?
That’s the question the MMA world continues to ask, especially as the two fighters build their feud. We’ll have to wait and see if it actually materializes somewhere down the line so all of the speculation can be put to rest.
What say you, Maniacs? Does Adesanya currently have an advantage over Jones on the feet?