Jon Jones may have vacated the UFC light heavyweight title and be preparing for a move up to heavyweight, but reigning UFC middleweight champ Israel Adesanya is still planning on fighting the No. 1-ranked pound-for-pound fighter by the end of 2021.
Speaking to reporters at a UFC 253 virtual media scrum, ‘The Last Stylebender’ said he is willing to do whatever it takes to get his hands on ‘Bones’ — even if that means chasing him up to heavyweight.
“One hundred percent. It doesn’t change my plans,” Adesanya said, per MMA Fighting’s Damon Martin. “My plan is still going forward as planned. So, yeah, same thing.
“Look how long it took him to move up to heavyweight, finally. Like I said, he was expecting me to do it straight away, when I hadn’t even defended my belt yet. I’ve defended my belt twice now, I want to defend it a few more times and then do what I set out to do. But, yeah, the pot calling the kettle black on his part. (Tsk tsk). Go put some f*cking muscle on your chopstick legs and go fight Francis Ngannou and watch him break you. I hope he doesn’t, though. Maybe he does. Who knows?”
Jones has been angling for a super fight with Cameroonian knockout artist Francis Ngannou, but UFC president Dana White has confirmed that ‘The Predator’ will be next in line for a title shot against Stipe Miocic, who recently beat Daniel Cormier at UFC 252 to cement himself as the greatest heavyweight champion in UFC history.
As for Adesanya, the 31-year-old is scheduled to defend his middleweight title against Paulo Costa at UFC 253 on Sept. 26.