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If you thought Jon Jones' decision to move up a division was going to stop Israel Adesanya from getting his highly-anticipated grudge fight, you'd be wrong.
UFC middleweight champion Adesanya is still "100 per cent" confident he will take on Jones... even if it's at heavyweight!
33-year-old Jones surprised mixed martial arts fans after news broke of his decision to vacate his light heavyweight title in the wake of UFC 252.
With the his unparalleled reign in the division behind him, attention turned to Jones' next career move - and it appears a step up in weight class is what's tickling his fancy.
For the likes of light heavyweight contenders Dominick Reyes and Thiago Santos, it means they'll probably never get their well-deserved rematches against 'Bones'.
But for Kiwi superstar Adesanya - who was planning on moving up a division and wiping out the trash-talking Jones - nothing has changed.
"One hundred percent. It doesn't change my plans," Adesanya said when asked about Jones' departure from the 205 pound division.
"My plan is still going forward as planned. So, yeah, same thing."
Adesanya and Jones have been going back and fourth on social media for some time now.
Fan favourite Adesanya hasn't kept it a secret that his long-term goal was to join an elite group of fighters to hold two UFC belts simultaneously.
It just so happened that the champion in the weight class above his own was Jones.
But, as any proper champion should, Adesanya wanted to stay faithful to the middleweight division and offer the relevant contenders a title shot.
No matter how much you fill up a balloon...
He's likely still gonna get popped! :syringe::balloon::pushpin: pic.twitter.com/4lrT2NVBhO
- Israel Adesanya (@stylebender) August 18, 2020
Having already seen off Yoel Romero in his first defence, the 'Last Style Bender' must now take on Brazilian powerhouse Paulo Costa before jumping up a division to lock horns with his arch nemesis.
And despite Jones' bid to challenge Stipe Miocic for the heavyweight crown, Kiwi star Adesanya still believes their grudge match is on the cards.
"Look how long it took him to move up to heavyweight, finally," Adesanya said.
"Like I said, he was expecting me to do it (move up a division) straight away, when I hadn't even defended my belt yet.
"I've defended my belt twice now, I want to defend it a few more times and then do what I set out to do.
"But, yeah, the pot calling the kettle black on his part."
Seat down and wait your turn, I got next. https://t.co/4661B0zNmP
- Francis Ngannou (@francis_ngannou) August 16, 2020
Jones was adamant that he was first in line for a title shot, but UFC president Dana White has since confirmed that Francis Ngannou will be the next man to take on Miocic.
News of this lead to Adesanya delivering some pretty harsh words of wisdom for his bitter rival Jones.
He said: "Go put some f*****g muscle on your chopstick legs and go fight Francis Ngannou and watch him break you.
"I hope he doesn't, though. Maybe he does. Who knows?"
Either way, it's still crystal clear that there's no love lost between two of the UFC's biggest personalities.
And if company boss White can somehow strike a deal which would bring Adesanya up to heavyweight to take on Jones, we might just see a fight that potentially challenges Conor McGregor vs Khabib Nurmagomedov for the most Pay Per View buys in UFC history.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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