Coach Eugene Bareman Says Israel Adesanya Wants Stipe Miocic
It is not a secret that Israel Adesanya has been contemplating a move up in weight. Now, his coach Eugene Bareman says that he could actually move up two weight classes instead.
Bareman has emerged over the last two years, as one of the best coaches in MMA. To go from relative obscurity, to having two UFC champions in around two years has helped that. As a result, he has quickly become one of the most interesting coaches to listen to, and watch work.
Obviously, the biggest star that has Bareman in his corner is UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya. Izzy is expected to make the first defense of his belt against Yoel Romero. Provided he gets through this test, and a few other contenders, he has been open about moving up in weight in 2021.
Although you may think he will be going after Jon Jones, considering their nonstop back and forths, Bareman explains that may not be the case. Speaking with Submission Radio, he revealed that his pupil may be looking for a different fight instead. In fact, he says the decision is up to him, not Izzy, on whether or not they face Jon Jones.
“I mean, that’s the thing, it’s not up to Israel. I make the decision on the fight,” Bareman said. “So, come 2021, Israel has to convince me that we should fight Jon Jones. And if I don’t feel that we have to, then it’s not gonna happen. It’s not even Israel’s call.”
As for what Adesanya could be looking for, Bareman says heavyweight is an option.
“Israel stated, and I think it’s a very good plan, he’s gonna do his thing in the middleweight division,” Bareman said. “There’s some really tough challenges. He should clear those out. There’s at least three or four more good challenges. But three or four more fights for Israel is like maybe within this year. So, after that, what’s the next challenge? For him, and we’ve done it in all the sports that we’ve participated in, it’s to move up in weight. And trust me, if he has these three or four more middleweight fights, we will push to fight Stipe (Miocic), a hundred percent.”
Of course, Bareman says they are not focused on that right now, instead worried about the tasks at hand.
“There’s just so much that we have to put our concentration into now that it’s on the back burner. It’s in the back of our minds. So, yeah, let’s see if that hurries along Jon Jones.”
Do you think that Israel Adesanya will skip Light Heavyweight altogether, like Eugene Bareman is suggesting?