Whether a superfight between Jon Jones and Israel Adesanya was ever truly in the cards for the UFC middleweight champion, the idea of the bout gained some decent traction with fans and pundits largely stemming from a series of call-outs issued by Adesanya to the then light heavyweight champ back in 2019—surrounding the run up to the ‘Last Stylebender’’s UFC 243 title fight against Robert Whittaker.
“I like challenges. [Jones] is the GOAT right now, right? I’ve already killed on GOAT, I’m hunting the next,” Adesanya told reporters, speaking of his desire to fight ‘Bones’ sometime in the future. The two men have been sniping at one another off and on over social media ever since.
Whether or not Blachowicz was intended to be the first step in setting up a fight with the former longtime light heavyweight king (Adesanya’s coach recently claimed it wasn’t), it does seem that the City Kickboxing talent’s inability to secure the win at UFC 259 has tempered at least some of the enthusiasm for a future Jones vs. Adesanya bout. At the very least it poured cold water all over Daniel Cormier’s interest in the fight.
“People talk about: the intrigue may be gone for Izzy? That’s not true,” Cormier said in a recent episode of his DC & Helwani webcast. “I still believe he’s one of the best fighters in the world. But, it – and again, I was guilty of it – watching him do what he did at 85 makes you believe he can go with anybody. And because of his skill set, you’d think he can beat a Jones. Today, after watching last Saturday? I believe Jones would be too big for him.
“Rivalry out the window, I just believe Jones would be too big for him,” Cormier added. “Because, watching Jan take him down, Jones would press him against the Octagon and take him down, right? So, I just think that that fight, for as much intrigue as there was, for me it doesn’t really need to happen. Because I just believe that now, especially with the weight that Jones has put on, not a great fight for Adesanya.”
At the moment, Adesanya is headed back down to 185, where it seems he’s targeting a bout with Darren Till, should Till get by Marvin Vettori. However, head coach Eugene Bareman says he believes that the lure of a fight between Jones and Adesanya will never truly fade away. And even adding that Adesanya may look to return to light heavyweight and possibly pack on a few more pounds to take a prolonged run at the division.
“Jon Jones, that fight hasn’t fizzled away,” Bareman told Submission Radio in an interview following UFC 259. “Jon Jones is a businessman. Jon Jones understands how the pay-per-view market works and he understands where the money is, and that’s why this fight doesn’t fizzle away. Because at the end of the day, if it makes money, it makes sense. And Jon knows who the biggest star in the sport is at the moment, and who can get him paid the most. That is why the fight won’t fizzle out. So, Jon’s gonna – if he hasn’t already – I’m sure he’s probably been on social media and gone through all the antics that he usually does. But at the end of the day, the facts are the facts. The fight doesn’t fizzle out, because they’re the biggest guys in the sport and they bring in the most money, and that’s why the fight still exists.”
At the moment, Jones seems to be awaiting the winner of Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou, for a shot at the UFC heavyweight title. However following Dana White’s assertion that that’s the bout the UFC intended on making, Jones made it clear that he hasn’t come to any contract agreement as of yet with the UFC. Just where that will leave the Jackson-Wink fighter in 2021 remains anyone’s guess.