Rising UFC middleweight contender Israel Adesanya is certainly not short on confidence.
‘The Last Stylebender’ currently has his hands full with TUF 17 winner Kelvin Gastelum, who he will look to challenge for the interim middleweight title at UFC 236, but the former kickboxing champion is already thinking of a potential super-fight against Jon Jones.
Speaking to Submission Radio in a recent interview, Adesanya said he looks forward to the challenge of one day facing ‘Bones’ in the Octagon.
“Jones and Silva have spoken about fighting each other for years as well, but that never came to fruition,” Adesanya said, per MMA Mania’s Jesse Holland. “This I feel is different. So yeah, I look forward to that challenge as well.”
The fact that Adesanya is even on Jones’ radar indicates how serious the top champions are taking him, despite only making his UFC debut just twelve months ago.
“That shows you how serious they’re taking me, the smart ones, how much they know I’m a threat, how serious they’re taking me,” Adesanya said. “Like, [Jones] mentioned it on fight week of 235 or whatever, and then I went back two weeks prior on messages with Eugene when I put the question out there, how are we going to beat Jon Jones? And he kind of just laid down the rough blueprint. And I blurred a lot of it out, but yeah, we’re focusing on Gastelum.”
It’s a big ask, but Jones vs. Adesanya certainly isn’t out of the realm of possibility. If Adesanya wins his next fight and then goes on to unify the titles against Robert Whittaker, and Jones continues to clear out the the light heavyweight division, the UFC would be wise to at least consider the match-up.