Israel Adesanya Details a History of Animosity Between Himself and Jon Jones: ‘Why the F*ck Does He Want to Fight Me?’

'The Last Stylebender' discussed the long-standing rivalry between himself and current UFC heavyweight champion Jon Jones

Israel Adesanya
Courtesy of @UFCNews on Twitter

Israel Adesanya was shocked to find out that he is currently Jon Jones’ favorite fighter in the UFC.

‘The Last Stylebender’ climbed back to the top of the middleweight mountain in April, knocking out long-time rival Alex Pereira in the second round of their UFC 287 rematch to reclaim the 185-pound crown. A month earlier, general consensus greatest of all time, Jon Jones, made his triumphant return at UFC 285 and captured the heavyweight championship by dispatching top-contender Ciryl Gane in just over two minutes.

Jones and Adesanya have emerged as two of the biggest names in MMA history, but as it turns out, the two superstars nearly squared off with one another inside the Octagon. During an appearance on the IMPAULSIVE podcast with Logan Paul, ‘Stylebender’ was informed that he is currently Jon Jones’ favorite fighter, a fact Adesanya was unwilling to accept at first based on their past beef with one another. Adesanya elaborated on the issues between himself and ‘Bones’ while also revealing that the two almost booked a fight to settle their differences.

“I don’t even like to talk about this sh*t, but for me… Growth. Growth is something you have to go through as a human being. As a man especially,” Adesanya said. “Maturity. There was a point where we were like [argumentative] and it’s… I came to the UFC and I felt like… It’s up to him to admit this. I felt like he was a fan, but then he was kind of like, ‘Ugh. There’s another [fighter] coming into this game’ and taking the shine, but there’s enough room for us to shine. 

“I even f*cking said that about Henry Cejudo when he was talking sh*t about me. I felt like, ‘I’m not even in your weight class. You’re a munchkin.’ You don’t have to hate on me for doing what I’m doing. We can be in our own lanes and be great. I’ve been a fan of Jon since I saw him at UFC 94. He fought Stephan Bonnar, rest in peace, and I saw what he did in that fight.

“I was a fan and I think he was as well, but then mentioned something like, ‘Oh I’d like to fight Israel.’ Why the f*ck does he want to fight me? I’m middleweight,” Adesanya continued. “But then I responded back and we had beef. Then for a few years, it was like that. Then after I fought [Paulo] Costa it went really deep. And that was around the time it could have really happened, but I don’t know what happened. Scheduled [or] COVID reasons. Just whatever and then I fought Jan [Blachowicz], but yeah. Real recognize real, I’ll put it that way.”

Jon Jones Squashes Any Lingering Hopes of a Fight Against Israel Adesanya

With Jon Jones firmly seated on the heavyweight throne after years of ruling in the 205-pound division, the chances of a fight between himself and Israel Adesanya seem all but lost. If you were holding out any hope at this point, ‘Bones’ is setting out to dash your dreams per a recent interview with Sporting News

“That fight’s too far gone. It’s too far gone,” Jones said of a potential meeting with Israel Adesanya. “You saw when happened when Israel fought against Jan Blachowicz, he didn’t fair very well against a man bigger than him and I’m a lot bigger than Jan Blachowicz, I don’t think the fans would want to see that fight. They would quickly realize it was unfair competition.”

Adesanya attempted to double up on UFC gold in 2021, moving to the light heavyweight division for a clash with then-champion Jan Blachowicz at UFC 259. As it turned out, the Polish power of Blachowicz proved to be more than ‘Stylebender’ could handle, allowing Blachowicz to dominate on the mat en route to a unanimous decision victory. 

Though nothing has been announced, recent rumors suggest that Adesanya could find his way back up to 205 in another attempt at becoming a two-division world champion. This time, he would be tasked with dethroning Jamahal Hill. ‘Sweet Dreams’ captured the title in January, besting Brazilian legend Glover Teixeira at UFC 283. He is yet to defend the title, but with top-ranked contender Jiri Prochazka still recuperating from should surgery, it could leave to door open for Adesanya to step in and challenge for another piece of UFC gold. 

Published on June 8, 2023 at 6:46 pm
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