Adesanya: Jones Is Like An Old Man, Costa And Romero Are Vulnerable

It’s been a memorable year for Israel Adesanya. It began in Australia, where he defeated one of his idols, in Anderson Silva. And it ended back in Australia, in front of 57,000 fans in the Marvel Stadium at UFC 243, where he stopped Robert Whittaker to become the undisputed UFC middleweight champion.

In between, Adesanya also beat Kelvin Gastelum in one of the fights of the year, to win the 185lbs interim title. And not content with entertaining us inside the Octagon, ‘The Last Stylebender’ has entertained us in his interviews, on social media and with his UFC 243 walk out dance.

And when it comes to his ongoing war of words with Jon Jones, we get the feeling that he’s enjoyed the back and forth as much as we have. During a recent interview with ESPN, Adesanya was asked if he thought Jones looked at him like a little brother.

“I wouldn’t say little brother, though sometimes big brother has to get his ass whupped eventually. That’s it: 2021 Raiders Stadium. I already said if he wants to fight me now, he has to come to 185 [pounds], come see the champ. I don’t really need him for my career to be great. He needs me because he has no one else to fight. What’s the big fight for him now?

“Like I said, I have a lot of work to do at 185 first, some tough guys I have to defend my belt against. There are, like, four guys I feel I have to get through. And then I’m going to jump in weight class and then take care of him.”

Since Conor McGregor became a two division champion in the UFC, we have seen more champions look to challenge for a second title, rather than defend their own belt. Adesanya however, has no interest in fighting for a second title, until he has cleared out his own division.

“That would be disrespectful to the division, because a lot of guys have been doing their work. You kind of hold the division up, and a lot of people have done that. Robert [Whittaker has] done that. [Anderson] Silva never did that. Silva just ran through the whole division and cleaned the division out, so I want to do something like that. Demetrious Johnson did that as well — cleaned the division out. I want to be a guy, when it’s all said and done, they say, ‘Man, he cleaned out the division, and he stepped up and beat the baddest mother f***er in the game.'”

Until the two do eventually square off inside the Octagon, we can enjoy the bad blood between the two. Although Adesanya doesn’t rate Jones’ social media game.

“He called me a f***ing nerd. Oh, no! He hurt my feelings! I didn’t really respond to a lot of things, but there was one day when I had time, and I just went at him, and I flamed his ass up. And I hit him with some s*** that I don’t think he was ready for. And he kind of went quiet for a while after that. But he can’t come back from that.”

Adesanya went on to state that the UFC light heavyweight champion doesn’t understand how the internet works, comparing him to an ‘old man’.

“You have to understand the internet. You have to understand how it works. You have to understand the lingo. You have to understand the culture of the internet. And he doesn’t. He’s young [32] — he’s only, like, a year older than me — but he’s old. Like, he’s like an old man. He’s like a suburban dad, which he is actually. So he doesn’t get it. He’s not hip with it, so that’s why when a kid like me, a fresh kid, the new kid on the block, I take all the shine away from him. He’s going to get some type of way. He’s going to feel jealous. That’s why he’s coming at me. He realises I’m the guy to fight for him to make another big, blockbuster fight. And he has one method of doing it, and that’s creating rivals, but hey, you don’t want to make me your enemy — or you do.”

Israel was expected to begin his quest to clear out the division, against Paulo Costa. But due to the Brazilian having surgery on his bicep, it is thought that Adesanya will now make his first title defence against Yoel Romero.

When asked by ESPN to name an overrated fighter, Adesanya was quick to bring up Romero and Costa. Although he said that he wouldn’t use the word ‘overrated’, but more vulnerable, due to the mistakes they both make.

“I wouldn’t say overrated, but [Yoel] Romero¬†and [Paulo] Costa. I think people are still fooled. The casuals, even a lot of experts who are supposed to be experts with a casual brain, they see the impressive things they do. But they miss a lot of the mistakes they make. As a fighter, as a hunter, I see a lot of the mistakes they make. I wouldn’t say they’re overrated but very vulnerable. And I’m like, don’t bring that s*** to me because I will take advantage. I will jump on them real quickly. I look forward to fighting both of them at their respective times.”

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