There is a possibility UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya fights at light heavyweight next. Whether it’s against Jon Jones remains to be seen, however.
Adesanya is coming off an impressive second-round TKO win over Paulo Costa at UFC 253 last month and is already targeting his next title defense against Jared Cannonier. In fact, Adesanya has also gone on record stating that he would like to compete again before the end of the year.
Cannonier has to defeat Robert Whittaker first who he faces at UFC 254 on October 24. But if the American passes that test and is unable to fight Adesanya that soon, would “The Last Stylebender” move up to light heavyweight and potentially face 205-pound king Jan Blachowicz?
City Kickboxing head coach Eugene Bareman believes it’s a possibility.
“Yeah, I mean, if Cannonier didn’t want to turn around and fight, then Israel would definitely fight at 205,” Bareman told Submission Radio. “We’ve already had a little chat about that. He would be perfectly willing to do that. So much is just dependent on those results in the middleweight division. But yeah, if Cannonier wanted to wait longer because he didn’t want to turn around things really quickly, then maybe Israel can go to 205.
“At the moment it’s just waiting out to see how those results go in that little middleweight tournament, and then deciding, and then for the most part, some of those fighters deciding what they want to do. For us, we’ve already decided that we wanna turn around another one in 2020. So, it’s kind of like the balls in their corner.”
Of course, the one fight everyone wants to see at light heavyweight for Adesanya is a grudge match against former champion Jon Jones who is now planning a move to heavyweight.
Adesanya has long claimed that he wanted to clean out his division before facing Jones in 2021. In more recent times, he has stated fighting Jones is something he would discuss with Bareman which resulted in ridicule from Jones.
Whatever happens in the future, Adesanya is very intent on fighting Jones according to Bareman.
“He has got his heart set on doing that fight. It doesn’t matter where Jon Jones goes,” Bareman added. “If he goes to heavyweight, goes to light heavyweight, goes up and loses two fights, three fights, wins the next three fights, Israel has his heart set on that fight. So yeah, that fight’s gonna happen, I’m just not sure when.
“If we needed to fight that fight in the next six months, then I would be happy to do that, but again, that’s a team decision. That’s how we work.”
Jones would come across those comments and respond.
“If we needed to fight that fight in the next six months, then I would be happy to do that, but again” 😂 Shut the f*ck up, Y’all ain’t doing sh*t”
“Fighter and coach is mentioning my name in interviews but refused to sign the dotted line. Straight hoe sh*t. Mention a mans dead mother over the Internet but looking to fight Jared cannoneer 😩”
What do you make of Bareman’s words?