UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is clearly looking to make up for lost time.
A host of performance-enhancing drug issues left him on the sidelines from July 2017 to December 2018. The controversial MMA legend regained the title by dominating Alexander Gustafsson by TKO at UFC 232. He then defended the belt against Anthony Smith at March’s UFC 235, albeit in a unanimous decision this time around.
“Bones” is now scheduled to face rising contender Thiago Santos in the main event of July 6’s UFC 239 from Las Vegas. The bout will complete a rarely-seen trio of title fights in just over six months. But Jones won’t stop there. He revealed on “Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show” today that he’s looking to fight once again in December and then three more times in 2020. As to whom he will fight in those bouts, longtime rival Daniel Cormier is an obvious choice, but not one that excites Jones.
The dominant star has been linked to a fight with current UFC interim middleweight champion Israel Adesanya as well. ‘The Last Stylebender’ will take on unified middleweight champion Robert Whittaker in Australia, reportedly at October’s UFC 243 from Melbourne. If the Nigerian titleholder can get past Whittaker and defend the title a few times, a super fight with Jones could become a very intriguing possibility.
Running Beef With Adesanya
The two even have a pre-installed backstory thanks to their previous social media exchanges. But Jones insists he doesn’t have any real issue with Adesanya. He was taken aback by Adesanya’s “GOAT killing” callout, something he previously responded to and revisited today:
“I really don’t, I really don’t. I think the worst thing I ever said about the kid was that he’s looking promising and I would assume that people would start entertaining that fight soon and he’ll come up and challenge me. That’s all I said about him. I think he said something about killing one GOAT in Anderson Silva and now trying to kill me or some shit like that. The biggest difference is that I’m 31 years old and I feel like I’m still reaching my prime. If you look back throughout a lot of my fights, you hear guys who’ve fought say, ‘Jon is a lot stronger than he looks.'”
Too Frail To Grapple?
Based on that, Jones doesn’t think Adesanya has anywhere near the skills necessary to contend with him. He told Helwani that ‘The Last Stylebender’ is simply too skinny and frail to fight him on the mat. It would not be a close fight due to that dynamic, Jones insisted:
“Israel is light in the ass. He’s light. He’s skinny, he’s skinny. I put my hands on him and teach him a whole different world of hurt. For him to be so frail and to not have a ground game. It’s like bro, you don’t wanna do it. And then to talk about my stand-up against Anthony Smith, with his face all bubbled up against a short wrestler who did that to him, it was just hilarious. I barely get touched in my fights. So for Israel to talk about his striking skills like they’re so far ahead of mine, it’s hilarious. Just to sum up what I think about Israel, I think he’s a little too light in the ass, needs to eat some more jerk chicken and come holler at me.”
Adesanya previously claimed Jones’ time would come online, something ‘Bones’ found to be an excuse. It was also an admission of defeat in Jones’ eyes:
“Let me tell you what that means. ‘I’m a bitch, I can’t beat Jon.’ What he basically said, and he just worded it how he wanted to was, ‘I cannot beat Jon.’ Anything else he said outside of that does not matter.”
Finally, Jones had a short-yet-sweet response when Helwani asked him if he would fight Adesanya down the road:
“He knows where I’ll be.”
Does Israel Adesanya have a chance against the ultra-dangerous Jones if they fought?