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Coach: Israel Adesanya more interested in Stipe Miocic than Jon Jones

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There’s a lot of hype surrounding a potential superfight between Jon Jones and Israel Adesanya at the moment, but the way coach Eugene Bareman sees it, ‘The Last Stylebender’ doesn’t need ‘Bones’ at all.

Speaking to Submission Radio in a recent interview, the City Kickboxing head coach said newly-crowned UFC middleweight champion Adesanya is more interested in a superfight with heavyweight titleholder Stipe Miocic.

“Jon Jones a hundred percent needs Israel,” Bareman said. “Israel does not need Jon Jones at all. Israel is baiting Jon Jones at every corner, and Jon Jones just keeps biting because Jon Jones knows he needs Israel. Let’s not talk about Jon Jones, let’s talk about Stipe (Miocic). If we have to talk about this superfight, let’s talk about Stipe. Let’s talk about Israel going up. Has anybody gone up and won two titles but skipped a division? Well, there you go. There’s a bit of history.

“Jon Jones so far has not been willing to go to heavyweight, he’s been reluctant to go to heavyweight? Am I correct? Well, Israel wouldn’t be reluctant to go to heavyweight. Israel would go to heavyweight and he would fight Stipe Miocic. There you go. We’ll take that fight, Jon Jones. If you don’t want to take it, you can hang around at light heavyweight. We’ll skip light heavyweight and we’ll take that fight off you. There’s some more bait there so Jon Jones can bite on it and start doing what he does, like what these guys do. But we’ll take the fight. Don’t worry about it, Jon Jones. Let’s stop talking about Jon Jones, let’s talk about Stipe. We’ve got a bit to do. We’ve got Paulo Costa, we’ve got other things.”

Part of the reason Bareman doesn’t want Adesanya to fight Jones is because he feels the reigning UFC light heavyweight champion is a ‘shit human being.’

“We have a track record of not fighting certain opponents even though they make sense,” Bareman added. “And I’m not talking about in the UFC, I’m talking about locally, because they’re just not good people. And Israel can want to fight him and have all the desire in the world to fight him that he wants, but it’s not his decision. It’s not solely his decision. So, if my team decides that… it would just be hard for me to look at my team and ask them, should we give Jon Jones this opportunity considering the type of person he is?”

“Let me explain this. Like, we’re different camps. If Israel goes and does some of the things that Jon Jones does, he can no longer, he’s not going to be a part of my gym,” Bareman said. “Doesn’t matter how much money he makes, he will have to leave my gym, because he’ll just be a shit human being. And you can’t do that. You can’t be that person at my gym. Like, and I’m not… their setup’s different. Their setup’s different, and obviously they treat things and they treat people differently. But, like, I’m just giving an example from my gym and I’m using Israel figuratively.”

Obviously, money talks, and if Adesanya goes on to defend his title against surging middleweight Paulo Costa, the UFC might just make the New Zealander an offer he can’t refuse.

Adesanya, who KO’d Robert Whittaker this past Saturday to unify the middleweight tiles, is expected to face Costa in the new year.


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