Michael Bisping is a ‘big fan’ of UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, and ‘The Count’ has been having fun with ‘The Last Stylebender’s’ ongoing trash talk and back-and-forth with UFC light heavyweight kingpin Jon Jones.
Bisping wasn’t too impressed with Adesanya’s lackluster performance against Yoel Romero at UFC 248 but believes the undefeated champ is destined for superstardom and will solidify his legacy as one of the greatest fighters of all time.
“Izzy’s outstanding,” Bisping said in a recent interview with Submission Radio. “He’s great, he’s undefeated, which is very, very marketable. He looks good, he talks good, he fights good. The guy’s a superstar. He’s got all the qualities that the UFC are looking for in a superstar, and he fights great. Okay, the last fight against Yoel (Romero), nobody wants to re-watch that one again, but that’s the way it goes. Listen, you can’t deny it was a s*itty fight. Doesn’t mean he’s a s*it fighter, ‘cause he’s not a s*it fighter, he’s outstanding, he’s the world champion for a reason. But, you know, now and again that’s just stylistically sometimes that happens. Yoel’s a serious knockout artist, he has a lot of power and obviously has the wrestling pedigree. So you’ve got to be careful. And it takes two to tango, they were both as bad as each other. It was a s*itty fight, it is what it is. He got the decision, forget about that, that’s in the past, that’s all history. But no, he’s outstanding, he’s gonna have a bright future. He’s still young.”
“And I like what he’s doing with Jon Jones, I like what he’s doing. I don’t know if that fight will ever happen. It probably won’t. Not anytime soon. I think Jon’s talking about going up to heavyweight, so obviously that would put a barrier between them, but I like it. I certainly liked seeing Israel talk s*it about Jon Jones. It is funny. I just sit there in the morning eating my cornflakes and get a little chuckle out of it. So, yeah, no, he’s great, he’s great. I’m a big fan.”
Speaking of a possible Jones-Adesanya superfight, Bisping likes Adesanya’s chances on the feet, citing Jones’ recent struggles against Dominick Reyes and Thiago Santos and how those performances may be indicative of the champ’s decline.
“Listen, on the feet they’d match up pretty well,” Bisping said. “I can’t see why Israel wouldn’t have at least an equal footing or potentially an advantage. Jones isn’t — I mean, we saw in his last few fights he’s not invincible, he’s not superhuman, he is beatable. Everybody’s beatable, trust me. And Jon, the longer he does it, the longer he goes, it’s kind of a game of odds. At some point somebody’s going to beat him, and it seems to be happening more and more. I mean, the fight against Dominick Reyes — and I’m not trying to dump on Jon Jones, but I feel that Reyes won that fight. The one before, Thiago Santos, that was a close fight, and Thiago Santos had a bloody blown ACL from round one. The fight before that, Anthony Smith.
“So, you know, Jon isn’t unbeatable, and Adesanya is also undefeated. They’re both pretty much undefeated in my eyes. It’s a great fight. I’d love to see it one day, but I’m not sure if I could see Israel at heavyweight. That’s why I kind of laughed there, cause he’s certainly very tall, but he’s a light middleweight at the end of the day. So, at heavyweight, he’s gonna have a big disadvantage there.”
Adesanya is currently ranked #5 in the UFC men’s pound-for-pound rankings, while Jones, 32, is No. 1. Adesanya wants to fight Jones in 2021, after he has defended his middleweight title a couple more times and solidified his position as a worthy champion.