The war or words between UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones shows no signs of slowing down. For weeks now both fighters have traded childish insults and accused each other of not wanting to fight.
Some of the most recent barbs added to this discourse came courtesy of Adesanya, who threw doubt at Jones’ apparent aspirations to compete in the UFC’s heavyweight division.
Speaking with Damon Martin of MMA Fighting Adesanya said, “It’s been damn near since 2013 he’s been teasing, ‘I’m going to move up to heavyweight.’ It’s 2020. Is he ever going to be ready to move up in weight? Yet they’re trying to make me move up in weight early so that way they can get me.”
Adesanya went further to suggest that Jones won’t go to the heavyweight division because he is afraid of what he might find when he gets there.
“He don’t want that smoke,” claimed Adesanya. “I’m not saying he can’t do well. I think he’ll do very well at heavyweight possibly, but he don’t want that smoke cause he’s scared. He’s a guy who’s said that since 2013. So why should he do it now. The only reason I believe him now maybe is because he relinquished the belt. But who knows. There’s always something in the background.
“Maybe he did something stupid he was forced to let go of the belt and just keep it under wraps. Another hit and run. Another binge. Another bender. Who knows. But for me, I have done it in kickboxing. I moved up to heavyweight. I did it in boxing, I beat Brian Minto, who was a former heavyweight world champion in boxing. I’m going to do it in MMA. I’m not a guy who teases that doesn’t do it.”
The Nigerian born Kiwi also spoke about the potential match-up between he and ‘Bones’. Adesanya said he understands why Jones has been calling him out as of late, and insisted a fight with Jones is something he wants — at a time of his choosing.
“Jon’s been in my position before. He understands the power of momentum. He understands what a win like this does for me,” said Adesanya, referring to his dominant victory over Paulo Costa at UFC 253. “They wish they got me three fights ago. They wish they got me just after I got the belt. That’s why when I got the belt, he’s the one that brought my name up first that he wanted to fight me. You know why? Cause he knew that I was a threat. He knew I was a big money fight.”
“Listen to this — the guy cleaned out his division,” added Adesanya. “Instead of moving up in weight, what does he do? He starts to fight middleweights who moved up. Like Anthony Smith, Thiago Santos, you name them. He just decides to sandbag it. Why doesn’t he do it? He’s teasing it again, ‘I’m going to move up in weight. He ain’t gonna do sh*t.
“He’s talking about it. I don’t even care what he does. I’m still coming for him. Like regardless when he wins, when he loses, or whatever. I’m coming for him. That’s a fight I want because I want to prove a point. I just want to prove a point.”
‘The Last Stylebender’ told MMA Fighting that he wants to fight Jones during International Fight Week in 2021, which is likely to happen sometime in July (COVID-19 pending).
Adesanya is not the first fighter to accuse Jones of timorousness. In the past couple of weeks. Recently newly minted UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz made the bold claim that Jones left the 205 lb division because he was afraid of “Polish power”.