One of the most hyped UFC fights in recent history was a potential match between current middleweight king Israel Adesanya and former UFC light heavyweight champ and top pound-for-pound fighter in the promotion, Jon “Bones” Jones.
For the first few months of 2021, all signs seemed to point to a blockbuster showdown between the two athletes. Adesanya was on his way up to light heavyweight to challenge champion Jan Blachowicz, and the two were interlocked in a social media feud with both showing interest in the fight.
However the possible clash between Bones and “The Last Stylebender” was derailed after Blachowicz played spoiler, defeating Adesanya by unanimous decision in March at UFC 259.
After the contest, Adesanya dropped back down to 185 pounds and fought Marvin Vettori in June at UFC 268. He put himself back on the winning track, defeating Vettori by unanimous decision.
On Jones’ end, the former champion hasn’t competed since defending his strap against Dominick Reyes in February 2020 at UFC 247. He vacated his title in August 2020 and has been planning a move to heavyweight since.
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Adesanya Says Fans Will ‘100 Percent’ See the Fight With Jones
According to The Last Stylebender, he’s not done with the idea of fighting Jones in the future.
“I see it. I see it 100 percent,” Adesanya said on “The MMA Hour” via MMA Fighting. “But that’s the thing. You’ve got to know when to hold them, you’ve got to know when to fold them, and the song is not over yet. So stay tuned. We’ll fight one day. I don’t know where or how it’s going to happen. I just have an idea of what’s going to happen. But yeah, see if he moves up in weight first. See if he moves up in weight first and deals with these guys there. I think he can, but does he think he can?”
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Robert Whittaker Up Next for Adesanya, Jones Likely Won’t Fight Until 2022
Adesanya will look to defend his title against the man he took it from, Robert Whittaker.
Since losing the belt to Adesanya, “The Reaper” has rattled off three straight victories and has firmly established himself at the No. 1 contender in the division. A fight date hasn’t been announced, however, and with the UFC schedule filling up for the fall, fans may not see the 185-pound titans compete until next year.
On the other end, it’s unclear when Jones will compete next, but he has said that he’s aiming for 2022. During his interview on “The MMA Hour,” The Last Stylebender said that he doesn’t believe Jones will ever fight north of 205 pounds in the UFC.
“I don’t think we’re ever going to see Jon Jones fight at heavyweight,” Adesanya said. “F***, he’s been saying this since 2013. You either get it done or you don’t.”