Adesanya wasn’t taking questions about Jon Jones last night, but the UFC president was
Israel Adesanya won the UFC interim middleweight belt last night at UFC 236 in a historic Fight of the Year candidate with Kelvin Gastelum (watch the highlights!). The flashy striker has proven he has endless heart. Afterwards, Adesanya brushed away questions about Jon Jones, saying “This is about me. None of that. This is about me and Kelvin. I’ll address that another time.”
“This is about me. None of that. This is about me and Kelvin. I’ll address that another time.” – Adesanya after being asked about Jon Jones. #UFC236
— Justin Golightly (@justin_golight) April 14, 2019
UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones didn’t seem to like not being the center of attention. In quick succession this morning, he tweeted,
Just waking up to the morning news, this is about you now bitch
Everybody else [hang loose emoji] Have the best day today
This wasn’t the first shade Jones has thrown Adesanya’s way. He had posted about the Nigerian-born New Zealander before the bout, responding to Israel’s assertions that Jones is smart enough to worry about him. After the fight, he was critical of Israel’s performance, retweeting someone else’s analysis that Israel is not ready for Jones yet.
Well said, my man had a toe to toe kick boxing match with a short stubby wrestler. There’s only one Jon Jones ladies and gentlemen
When someone pointed out this was also a criticism of Gastelum’s abilities, Jones said that he was impressed Gastelum almost beat Adesanya without throwing a single kick. (The only sequence in the fight where Kelvin visibly rocked Israel started with Gastelum’s head kick)
That wasn’t my intention, nothing but respect for Kelvin. Dude Almost beat a kickboxer without throwing a single kick
Jones then woke up in the morning and apparently saw Israel dismissing the question about him. It isn’t clear what ‘This is about you now bitch’ means in this context. Jones isn’t about to drop to middleweight, and Adesanya has a massive title unification bout ahead of him against the great Robert Whittaker. Still, if the Last Stylebender does get past Whittaker, Dana White said he would be interested in seeing a superfight between the two 6’4” phenoms. Via MMAJunkie.com:
“(Adesanya has) got Whittaker to look forward to now,” White said. “Whittaker is a bad dude. He’s bigger than Kelvin, he hits harder than Kelvin, and he needs to focus on him right now.
“I know him and Jon Jones have been talking some smack, and listen, if he wins, and he becomes the middleweight champion, obviously I’d love to see him and Jon Jones fight. But we’ll see how everything plays out and timing. Because the other thing is if Israel fights Whittaker and wins, there’s other guys that have been waiting in line, too, to fight for the title. If (Ronald) ‘Jacare’ (Souza) keeps winning and doesn’t get a title fight, that guy might kill me.
“But that Jon Jones fight is going to be out there for Israel no matter what. That ain’t going anywhere.”
The undefeated Adesanya walks around considerably lighter than Jones, and we saw in the main event last night how a power disparity can affect a fight. The difference in size was the main problem MMA Mania analyst Andrew Richardson brought up when I posed Adesanya as a potential future opponent for Jones.
Still, the possibility remains, and we will no doubt hear more about it in the days ahead.