There is still a chance that former UFC light heavyweight champ Jon “Bones” Jones and current middleweight champion Israel Adesanya will meet inside the Octagon, according to UFC president Dana White. “The Last Stylebender” has called for a superfight with Jones in the past, but now that Jones is planning a move up to heavyweight, the fight has become less realistic.
However, in a recent interview with TMZ, the promotion’s president said that the fight could still happen.
Adesanya is scheduled to defend his belt against Paulo Costa in the main event of UFC 253 on Saturday night. Also, a fight for Bones’ light heavyweight belt between Dominick Reyes and Jan Blachowicz is set for the co-main event.
“Jon hasn’t moved up to heavyweight yet,” White said. “We don’t know what Jon’s going to do. If you’re Jon Jones right now, you probably sit back and watch what happens this weekend, see who wins, how they win, and maybe you make them defend the title and then you come back and you try and regain it. Or, you move up to heavyweight.”
“Or, if Adesanya wins this weekend, you fight Adesanya, I don’t know. Jon Jones is in a really good position right now. Number one, he has nothing left to prove. The guy has proved himself. Whether you agree with me that he’s the GOAT, or if you don’t, he’s one of the greatest of all time, right? He’s made a ton of money. He’s done everything someone would set out to accomplish as a professional athlete. He’s got a lot of options right now.”
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White Views the Main Event as a Potential Fight-of-the-Year Candidate
White has high hopes for the fight between Adesanya and Costa.
“The main event is the fight that I picked to be the fight of the year,” White told TMZ. “I think the rest of the card has been kind of overshadowed because I’ve been so geeked out about the main event for so long. Stylistically, it doesn’t get any better than this.
“You have Adesanya who likes to stay on the outside and pick guys apart. Costa likes to get inside, likes to move forward, lots of pressure and he has knockout power in both hands. I just don’t see how this fight isn’t incredible and isn’t a potential fight-of-the-year candidate.”
On how the fight may go, White told the outlet that he believes The Last Stylebender will try to maintain space between him and the Eraser.
“Yeah I don’t think they’re going to be in a phone booth because Adesanya is always going to try and create distance and he’s going to try and stay on the outside,” White said. “I don’t think he’s going to try and fight on the inside with Costa. And the question is, can Costa take this to the ground, you know?”
White said that there has been a lot of trash talk between the two fighters during fight week about Costa having a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and how he thinks Adesanya is a white belt.
White Said UFC 253 Has Been Trending in the United States & Globally
During his interview with TMZ, White said that the pay-per-view has been trending high in the United States and globally. “This thing is trending off the charts. Everybody is hyped up about this thing.”
White expects big pay-per-view numbers and “not just in the US, globally. Our international numbers are off the charts.”
When asked if UFC 253 could be one of the promotion’s highest-selling fight cards in history, White said, “ESPN has been running numbers on this thing and they’re saying this is going to be one of the top three or four biggest pay-per-views. Hopefully, they’re right.”