A bit of a feud began between Adesanya (17-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) and Jones (24-1 MMA, 18-1 UFC) in the lead-up to UFC 236. During an interview with TMZ, “The Last Stylebender” said he’s already beaten one of the greatest of all time in Anderson Silva, and he would gladly go “hunting” for another GOAT candidate in the current UFC light heavyweight champion.
That seemed to irk Jones, who promised he would give Adesanya a rude awakening and make the undefeated rising star call him “daddy” by the third round of a potential octagon showdown. Additionally, Jones was critical of Adesanya’s performance at UFC 236, which saw him outlast Kelvin Gastelum in a memorable encounter to win the interim middleweight title.
Adesanya didn’t want headlines about Jones taking away from his big night at UFC 236. Some time has passed, though, and now he’s fired back.
“Jon Jones, he literally just reminds me of what I’ve hated most in life, and that’s bullies,” Adesanya said on “Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show”. “I’ve had them through high school, coming up. Literally he’s a jock, he’s a cock, and he’s a (expletive). He’s picking the right time. He’s a smart boy. He knows I’m a challenge. Jon Jones likes to look for challenges because there’s a reason. He’s started all this. He’s the one that came out openly (before UFC 234 in February) and called me out and said, ‘I’d like to fight Israel Adesanya.’
“He knows I’m a threat. But guess what, I’ve said this for so long: If you want to beat me, do it yesterday. Every (expletive) fight I get better. I get better every fight. So if he wants to try to take me out early on when he knows I’m only a year in the UFC, and I’m still learning.”
While the trash talk is fun to follow, Adesanya admits a clash with Jones is not something that’s immediately on the horizon, which is what UFC President Dana White said post-fight at UFC 236, as well.
Jones is scheduled to defend his 205-pound belt against Thiago “Marreta” Santos at UFC 239 in July, while Adesanya is looking at a middleweight title unifier with Robert Whittaker in the second half of this year.
Adesanya said there’s more business to be handled in his own weight class after Whittaker, as well, and that’s his priority first.
“He’s trying to jump the gun and get me out early,” Adesanya said. “That’s (expletive) up. I’ve got ‘Jacare’ (Souza), (Yoel) Romero and other middleweights I’ve got to get through. Hopefully if ‘Jacare’ gets through ‘The Joker’ (Jack Hermansson), and I get through Robert, that’ll be the fight. I’ve got all these guys to get past.”
Adesanya said he believes Jones is trying to target him now because the fight becomes less favorable to him over time. Adesanya is the younger, less experienced MMA fighter, and he said he’s only scratching the surface of what he’s capable of, while Jones might be not be far off from his finished product.
A matchup between the two will only come with higher demand if they continue to be successful, and Adesanya said he has no problem with letting it marinate.
“You just came across like a dick and like a (expletive) (expletive),” Adesanya said. “I’m a good (expletive). And guess what, I’m everything he wished he could’ve been when he first came into the UFC. ‘I want to be Nike-sponsored and praise God’ then (he does cocaine). That was him literally. He was crashing and (doing) steroids and hiding under the cage and all that (expletive). I was a fan. At UFC 94, I watched him (expletive) up Stephan Bonnar, and I was like, ‘Holy (expletive), this mother(expletive) is amazing. But he just came across like a piece of (expletive), a dick.
“I don’t like bullies. I detest bullies. So he’s going to get this work, but not until I am ready to give him this work. I could fight him right now, and I’ll give him work, but I want to fight him when I know I can (expletive) him up. I’m still learning. My guard game is still getting dirty. If he wants to stand up, I’ll (expletive) him up. His stand-up is (expletive) to me. Look at the way he fought against (Anthony) Smith. No thanks. Right now he’s the best pound-for-pound, right? I’m Player One. He’s the final boss in the game. I still got some people to beat, some bosses to beat in between.
“Let me defend my belt a few times. I don’t have to do an Anderson Silva title run. I don’t want that. Let me just beat all the top middleweights in the division just once, then I’ll move up for a superfight with Jon Jones. He’s a smart guy. He’s the one who started this because he knows I’m a threat, and I’m everything.”
- Kelvin Gastelum 'in pain pretty good' after epic UFC 236 clash vs. Israel Adesanya, head held high
- The Break: Grateful for UFC 236 classics, skeptical about T.J. Dillashaw's claim
- Nikita Krylov hoping to be ranked after UFC 236 finish – and fight Jon Jones eventually
Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Israel Adesanya fires back at Jon Jones: 'I’m everything he wished he could've been'