Reigning UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones continues to snipe at interim middleweight titleholder Israel Adesanya in the media.
The two fighters have lobbed insults at one another for the past year, and ‘Bones’ recently said he looks forward to Robert Whittaker putting a beating on ‘The Last Stylebender’ in their proposed middleweight title unification bout at UFC 243.
“Real deal,” Jones said when asked about Whittaker on ESPN’s Now or Never (h/t Abhinav Kini of The Body Lock MMA). “Nothing but respect for him. He’s a standup guy. I can’t wait to see him stomp a mudhole in Adesanya.”
Asked why he favours Whittaker, Jones said Adesanya was ‘exposed’ in the Kelvin Gastelum fight and believes ‘The Reaper’ to be the more well-rounded and versatile champion.
“I’m taking Robert Whittaker,” Jones said in a later interview with FOX Sports. “I think he’s the more versatile fighter and I feel like Israel was definitely exposed by [Kelvin] Gastelum at [UFC 236]. He showed that he can be touched by a guy with much shorter reach — a guy that didn’t grow up kickboxing put him through a kickboxing clinic, you know.”
The pound-for-pound phenom has even offered to help Whittaker prepare for the bout.
“So, I believe that Whittaker can win the fight, and if Whittaker needs help training for the fight, I’d love to help him.”
Jones is scheduled to defend his light heavyweight title against Brazilian knockout artist Thiago Santos at UFC 239. The PPV takes place next month, July 6 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Whittaker vs. Adesanya, on the other hand, is expected to headline the upcoming UFC 243 PPV. The highly anticipated event will take place on October 6, 2019 at Docklands Stadium in Melbourne, Australia.