Jones, who is widely considered one of, if not the, leading contenders in the race for the status of greatest of all time, hasn’t entered the Octagon since a 2020 title defense against Dominick Reyes. Later in the year, he vacated the 205-pound gold and announced his intention to pursue heavyweight glory.
But after a much-discussed clash with champion Francis Ngannou fell through last year, “Bones” sat out for all of 2021. Nevertheless, thanks to yet another run-in with the law, his name still remained firmly in the headlines despite his absence from active competition.
After his induction into the UFC Hall of Fame at September’s Las Vegas-held ceremony, Jones was arrested and charged with battery domestic violence and injuring and tampering with a vehicle.
In the latest update in regards to the incident, video footage of Jones’ arrest was released, showing the 34-year-old aggressively banging his head on a police car.
During a recent interaction with TMZ Sports, Adesanya, who’s had his fair share of back and forth with Jones in recent years, appeared to jibe at his foe’s troubles, which represented the latest of many legal issues over the past decade.
“The Last Stylebender” suggested he was glad to be on the TMZ channel for his accomplishments, rather than for head-butting a cop vehicle.
“I’m glad I can be invited to TMZ; I’m not here, getting looked up for the wrong reasons, and being put on TMZ [impersonates TMZ intro], and some crazy video of me banging my head on a cop car or something crazy like that. I’m glad that’s not me,” said Adesanya.
Having brought up the topic of Jones, Adesanya was asked about his own feud with the New York-born star. The Nigerian-New Zealander reminded fans that Jones was the initiator, something he believes proved that the two-time light heavyweight king saw him as a “threat.”
While he reiterated a willingness to share the cage with Jones in the future, Adesanya asserted that the 34-year-old must fight himself and his demons first.
“I remember it because he was the one that started it on TMZ. And everyone likes to say, ‘Ah, Izzy,’ no. He put my name in his mouth first,” reminded Adesanya. “So I’m like, ‘Well, he was a fan, and he realized there’s an opportunity there.’ I’m like, ‘Oh, for real? You’re supposed to be the GOAT and you wanna fight me? That shows me you think I’m a threat.’
“I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m gonna get the other one.’ So I dealt with Silva, who was my favorite fighter at the time. So yeah, I’m like ‘F*ck this c*nt,'” added Adesanya. “But, hey, he needs to fight himself, or fight his demons. That’s the main things he needs to be fighting. Go back to church.”
Adesanya Tells Jones To “Go Fight Francis”
Adesanya also addressed Jones’ long-planned venture to the heavyweight division. Since 2020, the 205-pound great has consistently updated fans on his plans in the weight class and progress bulking up in the gym.
However, now three months into 2022 and nearly two years beyond his decision to relinquish the light heavyweight title, and Jones doesn’t appear any closer to his divisional debut.
Citing his own development from intention to action in terms of fighting at a second weight, Adesanya criticized Jones’ ongoing transition and constant statements of intent for a heavyweight switch.
“First of all, go fight Francis. I said I was gonna move up in weight, I did it the next year. He’s said it since like 2013, ‘Ah, I still gotta do this first, and do that.’ I’m like, ‘Bro, this is martial arts. If you’re the best, go prove you’re the best. This is the game we’re in.’ It’s not just about size, and this and that,” concluded Adesanya.
As most would have expected, Jones was vocal after Ngannou’s January triumph against Ciryl Gane. Nevertheless, with “The Predator” out of action following surgery and potentially on his way out of the promotion at the end of the year, Jones’ future is still uncertain.
With Dana White previously suggesting a return to light heavyweight contention isn’t out of the question, perhaps a super fight between “Bones” and middleweight king Adesanya isn’t dead and buried just yet.
How do you think a light heavyweight fight between Israel Adesanya and Jon Jones would play out?