It did not make sense to many, for middleweight champ Israel Adesanya to fight Jon Jones at heavyweight instead of light heavyweight, as he has discussed doing. Yet his coach, Eugene Bareman says that the reason he is willing to do this is because of Izzy’s confidence in his skills.
When it was revealed that the UFC wanted Adesanya to move up and face newly crowned champ Jan Blachowicz, fans were a bit befuddled. The idea of Izzy moving up was something that he and his coach, Bareman had been discussing for a while. However it was thought that when he did move up, he would face his rival Jon Jones, especially since Jon had vacated the title and seemingly cleared the way for the two to have a clean fight with no strings attached. Yet Jones was instead saying he would be preparing for a move to heavyweight, so the fight went to Blachowicz instead.
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Eugene Bareman Thinks Adesanya Is More Confident Than Jones
Just because Jon Jones is moving to heavyweight, does not mean that Israel Adesanya is uninterested in following him there, as he has made known on numerous occasions. Yet his coach, Eugene Bareman seems to think there is a reason for his willingness to face Jon wherever. Speaking in a recent interview, he explained that Izzy is willing to go to heavyweight because he is confident enough in his skills that it does not matter to him where the fight takes place.
“That’s the difference between the two athletes,” Bareman explained. “I mean, there’s a lot of differences but Israel, at the end of the day, believes in himself and his skills more than Jon does. That’s why Israel’s willing to do this after only being in the UFC for a couple of years, because he believes in himself, he believes in his skills. So he’s willing to take risks that Jon just simply was never willing to take.
“Israel’s supremely confident in his skills,” Bareman continued. “The reason he goes out there and says it don’t matter where Jon Jones puts his weight, is that it isn’t going to matter. Israel believes he can beat Jon Jones and weight is a very small factor in that decision. So that’s where it comes from. He’s just supremely confident that his skills, regardless of what weight Jon Jones is, we’ll be triumphant at the end of the day.”
Eugene Bareman is certainly correct in his fighter’s astronomical confidence heading into a potential fight with Jon Jones. Seeing how Israel Adesanya fares against Jan Blachowicz could go a long way towards showing how he looks against these heavier opponents. It will be interesting to see, to say the least.