Israel Adesanya's Coach Says Jon Jones Needs Him More Than He Needs UFC Light Heavyweight Champion
Israel Adesanya's coach isn't too keen on his fighter squaring off against UFC Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones as he feels he doesn't need the bout.
Adesanya became UFC Middleweight Champion when he beat Robert Whittaker convincingly at UFC 234 and both he and Jones traded shots at one another in the aftermath of his triumph.
'The Last Stylebender' stated that he would defend his title before making the step up to Jones' weight class and "f**king him up" but Eugene Bareman, the 30-year old's head coach, would rather him go up another step up by fighting heavyweight king Stipe Miocic - something Jones is yet to do.
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"Israel does not need Jon Jones at all. Israel is baiting Jon Jones at every corner, and Jon Jones just keeps biting because Jon Jones knows he needs Israel. Let's not talk about Jon Jones. Let's talk about Stipe. If we have to talk about this superfight, let's talk about Stipe. Let's talk about Israel going up. Has anybody gone up and won two titles, but skipped a division? Well, there you go. There's a bit of history.
"Jon Jones so far has not been willing to go to heavyweight. He's been reluctant to go to heavyweight. Am I correct? Well, Israel wouldn't be reluctant to go to heavyweight. Israel would go to heavyweight and he would fight Stipe Miocic. There you go. We'll take that fight, Jon Jones. If you don't want to take it, you can hang around at light heavyweight. We'll skip light heavyweight and we'll take that fight off you."
Adesanya moved up six places to the No.8 spot in the UFC pound-for-pound rankings to the No.8 spot following his sensational second round victory in Melbourne.
His first Middleweight defence is likely to come against Brazilian Paulo Costa, who was cageside for Adesanya's big win last week. The two had a few words after the fight, before Adesanya had a subtle dig in his post-fight presser.
"I enjoyed it myself," he said. "I definitely enjoyed [the moment], but it sells the next fight a little bit. At the same time, he's a bitch and he's my bitch, and I want to make him my bitch. So that's why I did what I did."