Israel Adesanya had aspirations of becoming the first ever three-division champion in UFC history, according to City Kickboxing head coach Eugene Bareman.
Had Adesanya beat Jan Blachowicz to win the light heavyweight title at UFC 259, Bareman says the reigning UFC middleweight champ would have moved up in weight to challenge Stipe Miocic for the heavyweight belt.
“I think I can answer this because it is beside the point now, we lost. If we won the title, for me and our management team and our team, we were going to go all the way,” Eugene Bareman told Sirius XM following Adesanya’s loss to Blachowicz. “Why stop there? We were going to go up, but nothing to do with Jon Jones. Israel has stated he’s too close to Francis Ngannou to fight him. But, if Miocic won we were going to go all the way 100 percent.”
"Israel has stated that he's too close to Francis Ngannou to fight him, but if Miocic won, we were going all the way, 100%." - Eugene Bareman of @citykickboxing1 revealed to @jimmysmithmma that Israel Adesanya wanted the heavyweight title next, had he won at #UFC259 pic.twitter.com/o9E6jz6n4d— MMA on SiriusXM (@MMAonSiriusXM) March 8, 2021
Adesanya had long teased of a super fight with Jon Jones but, according to Bareman, ‘The Last Stylebender’s’ main priority was a heavyweight title fight with Miocic. The latter will defend his title against Ngannou at UFC 260 on March 27.
“Jon Jones, he doesn’t come into any of our planning. When we are planning Israel’s career, he doesn’t exist in any of those decisions,” Bareman said. “The only person that exists in Jon Jones’ head and life is Israel… If we beat Blachowicz we were going to try and do what has never been done before. Given that Miocic wins.”
Adesanya lost to Blachowicz via unanimous decision and, although he is set to return to middleweight in his next fight, the 31-year-old is open to move up in weight again in the future.