Reigning UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya failed to capture the light heavyweight crown when he moved up to 205 pounds for the UFC 259 pay-per-view (PPV) main event last weekend (March 6) in Las Vegas, falling to current division titleholder Jan Blachowicz after five rounds of back-and-forth action.
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The consensus was that Adesanya, now 20-1 after suffering the first loss of his MMA career, spoiled his chance to challenge former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, who recently moved up to heavyweight for a chance to battle the winner of Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou, who rematch at UFC 260 later this month.
Turns out that’s not the case.
“This fight had nothing to do with Jon Jones,” Adesanya’s head coach, Eugene Bareman, told Submission Radio. “Jon Jones, that fight hasn’t fizzled away. Jon Jones is a businessman. Jon Jones understands how the pay-per-view market works and he understands where the money is, and that’s why this fight doesn’t fizzle away. Because at the end of the day, if it makes money, it makes sense.”
Jones appeared to move on from his Adesanya rivalry after “The Last Stylebender” failed to seal the deal at UFC 259. And it would be hard to justify the Adesanya fight if “Bones” is successful in defeating the winner of Miocic vs. Ngannou 2, regardless of whether or not fans are still clamoring for Jones vs. Adesanya.
“Jon knows who the biggest star in the sport is at the moment and who can get him paid the most,” Bareman continued. “That is why the fight won’t fizzle out. So, Jon’s gonna, if he hasn’t already, I’m sure he’s probably been on social media and gone through all the antics that he usually does, but at the end of the day, the facts are the facts. The fight doesn’t fizzle out, because they’re the biggest guys in the sport and they bring in the most money, and that’s why the fight still exists.”
Adesanya is expected to return to 185 pounds later this year against an opponent to be named.