With Israel Adesanya moving up to light heavyweight to face Jan Blachowicz, many people wondered if this opened the door for Jon Jones to stay at 205lb to face Izzy. However Jon’s coach Mike Winklejohn would rather see this fight take place at heavyweight.
Winklejohn has been working with Jon to prepare for his debut at heavyweight, after vacating his light heavyweight title. Yet it seemed like there would be a pause in these plans as middleweight champ Adesanya, who Jon has been feuding with, revealed that he was moving up to 205 to face new champ Blachowicz. This left many fans asking if this would make Jon want to stick around to face Israel, after the two have had a pretty ugly back and forth over the last several months.
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Mike Winklejohn Wants Israel Adesanya To Come To Heavyweight
Although nothing has been made official, Mike Winklejohn says that things are still on track for Jon Jones to move to heavyweight, not stay at 205lb. In fact, he explained in a recent interview that he would actually rather see Israel Adesanya come to heavyweight to face Jon, if that is the fight both men want. He feels that Jon has been chasing people his whole career, and that now it is the time for someone to chase him.
“My first thought is to have Israel come up to heavyweight,” Winklejohn said. “Here’s the deal, Jon’s always fought a who’s who, it’s always been this guy. You have to beat this guy to secure your legacy. Then he beats him, and it’s okay you have to beat this guy to secure your legacy, then he beats him. Jon doesn’t need to chase anybody, they need to chase him. That’s the way I look at it. That’s why he’s the best.
“With Jon’s current mindset to get up to heavyweight, (fighting Adesanya there) makes sense,” Winklejohn continued. “Once he puts all that mass on, there’s no reason to come back down. What’s the purpose of that? Come back down to chase Izzy? Absolutely not. Jon’s the man, that’s why he’s the greatest, and people need to chase him and he’s a leader, he’s a leader of the sport.”
Coach also discusses Jon Jones striking and how he’ll handle that against Adesanya.
“You know striking wise here’s a deal, Jon spot some big tall long guys before and he’s done well you know. The first fight with Gustafsson um, you know it wasn’t wasn’t Jon Jones great night by any means like of not all Jon Jones was there for many reasons that fight but he’s already fought a lots of long guys. Mike added. I am not sure if Izzy’s fought a Jon Jones before as far as length goes and definitely nobody’s fought Jon Jones as far as skill sets goes i know everybody that’s coming my gym they’re big heavyweights come in and i think they are immediately surprised by how big Jone’s presence in the cage when they start working out with him.”
“Jone’s been known for make up his own mind, he gets sometime a little bit on his own and challenge himself and he always finds a way there’s no doubt abt it so in Jones’ mind he’s say i am going to beat him on the feet thats what he’s going to do but if Jon says you know what i want to go home and just to secure the win and show what MMA is all about welcome to my world. I am sure he’ll take him down and blood him up with elbows”
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Israel Adesanya or Stipe Miocic?
With that being said, there are a few options for Jon Jones in his next fight. Not only is there the potential for Israel Adesanya to fight him at heavyweight, but there is also a big fight against the heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic. For Mike Winklejohn, he has a hard time picking which matchup is tougher for Jon, but sees unique challenges in both.
“I couldn’t pick a tougher one, they’re totally different in that they fight differently quite a bit,” Winklejohn said. “Different lengths in the fight, different skillsets, different things they can and can’t do. I think there’s probably more variety with Izzy than there is with Stipe, but I definetly think that Stipe is a tremendously mentally tough, strong fighter and that’s worth a lot.”
Mike also added how Miocic’s fight will play out:
“I know it’s tough one you know I mean Stipe is a great striker so strong everywhere and he’s real smart you know. I saw the way he’s controlling some of the heavyweights on the ground. He’s smart about what he does but I think Jones beat him in every one of those aspects when Jones puts his mind into it, Jones beats everybody’s wrestling, he beats everybody to stand up and beats everybody everywhere and it always end up being kind of a bloody show when things go right.”
Coach also shed some light on Jones legacy:
“Uh you know Jones legacy is already secured but uh it definitely uh um that that foundation it’s it’s got ryder and it’s solid you know you cant break it. Jon Jones is the greatest of all time, i think that’s the pinnacle you know he’s moved up and taken those guys out after who’s who’s list for so long at light heavyweight.”
Mike Winklejohn seems to think that Jon Jones and Israel Adesanya should fight at heavyweight. Whether or not that happens, a heavyweight move is incoming and there are a ton of exciting matches to make for Jon moving forward.