UFC: Adesanya On Jones, McGregor And Crossing Over To Boxing
It’s been one heck of a year for Israel Adesanya. Beating one of his idols, in Anderson Silva; beating Kelvin Gastelum to win the UFC middleweight interim title; and then stopping Robert Whittaker in front of 57,000 fans at UFC 243, to unify the UFC 185lbs title.
Speaking recently, Adesanya stated he always has a plan. And it’s no secret that those plans include fighting Jon Jones. Speaking on The Joe Rogan Experience (as transcribed by BJPenn.com), the new UFC middleweight champion continued his war of words with the light heavyweight champion.
“Let it be known he started it. He started it. I think it is because I’m the freshman. I’m the guy he wishes he was. He is a fan, trust me, he is a fan. He is my biggest fan. I think he sees himself like I could have been that cool if I didn’t f*** all this up. He sees me the new freshman getting all the shine and getting all the hype.
“No one really cares about his fights.”
During UFC 243 fight week, Adesanya stated that he would fight Jones in early 2021 at the new Allegiant Stadium, which is currently being built in Las Vegas. Talking to Rogan, ‘The Last Stylebender’ opened up about his premonition.
“They aren’t comparing us, they are saying ooh, let’s watch them fight. I like the fight. I said, this is July, after the MMA awards, I was in my hotel room and allegedly I may have been stoned. Allegedly. Nah I was f***ing stoned. I was looking across and could see Raiders stadium being built and I was like, for whatever reason, just decided that is where it is going to happen. It is such a f***ing crazy fight. The way it is going to happen, boom. Let him go to heavyweight, I’ll drag him back down.”
While Jones has previously expressed his desire to face Adesayna earlier than 2021, it does appear that he may now have accepted that’s it’s going to happen then. ‘Bones’ recently commented on social media that he couldn’t wait to ‘eventually’ slap Israel in 2021.
While Adesanya and Jones have been going back and forth in interviews and on social media since April, ‘The Last Stylebender’ claims he’s on good terms with Conor McGregor and that they speak a little. Telling Ebro in the Morning (as transcribed by The Mac Life), that he believes Conor still has a fighting future and that he was looking forward to seeing his return.
“Yeah, a hundred percent I think so. You see, because we’re with the same management team, we talk a little bit. But I can see right now that the way he’s approaching the game again, it reminds me of what he came into the game as. Now he’s remotivated, reinvigorated and I’m looking forward to seeing what he does next.”
While fighting Jones is part of Adesanya’s masterplan, the same can’t be said for boxing. The 185lbs champion has no intention of transitioning from MMA to boxing; after his MMA career comes to an end, or for a super fight.
“This [UFC] is where I’m going to end my career. People say, ‘oh, after UFC, you can go to boxing and have one super fight maybe with Canelo [Alvarez] and make a hundred million’. I’m like, I can do that in the UFC. I might be the first fighter to do that in the UFC.”
Not only is Adesanya confident of making big money in the UFC, the idea of taking away most of his weapons seems kinda ‘silly’ to him.
“It’s silly. Why would I come to the proving ground of all fighting — the UFC — and then afterward, fight a guy and take away like eighty percent of my weapons. I just want to kick people. I want to strangle someone. I can’t do that in boxing. I don’t want to get into the clinch and then okay, break.
“Same thing with kickboxing, same thing with jiu-jitsu, same thing with judo, same thing with wrestling, they’re all limited styles of fighting. If you want to be the baddest motherfucker in the world. Pound-for-pound –everyone throws that greatest fighter, pound-for-pound is Canelo. He’s the pound-for-pound maybe greatest boxer right now. Not fighter. You have to test yourself against another style.”
Adesanya is expected to make his first title defence in early 2020, against Yoel Romero.