On Saturday night at UFC 243, Israel Adesanya knocked out Robert Whittaker to unify the middleweight titles and become the undisputed king of the 185-pound division. It was a sensational performance from “The Last Stylebender” that included a choreographed dance routine beforehand and a quotable call out of the No. 1 contender Paulo Costa, afterwards. All in all, nearly everyone agrees that it was a star-making turn from Adesanya, including former UFC light heavyweight and heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier.
“He is fantastic,” Cormier said in the ESPN post-fight wrap up. “He does everything right in order to draw people in. He’s the guy that makes people get together. Like, ‘Hey, come to my house. Israel Adesanya is fighting tonight.’ He’s that type of guy and when you’re that type of guy, you have that quality about you to bring people together and everybody takes notice. Tonight, only helped that. The performance against Robert Whittaker was out of this world. From the entrance to the fight, to the exit, Israel just did everything right.”
But just because Adesanya did everything right on Saturday doesn’t mean he’s done everything else right. Case in point, Adesanya’s budding beef with light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
It all started in the lead up to UFC 236 when Jones said he thought he’ fight Adesanya one day. Adesanya in turn said he was in agreement and since then the heat between the two has steadily increased with Jones seemingly taking offense at Adesanya’s self belief and Adesanya firing back that Jones was jealous because Adesanya has not been plagued with the same personal issues that “Bones” has. Then recently in the lead up to UFC 243, Adesanya once again addressed a potential fight with Jones down the line, and Jones fired back with vitriol. Such has been the rising heat for a potential superfight that even Dana White suggested the fight would be big business for the UFC.
But big business for the UFC might not be good business for Adesanya, at least according to Cormier. The former champ-champ believes that while Adesanya is a great fighter, he’s too small for Jones right now.
“He’s just small,” Cormier said. “He’s just small for Jones. Jones is a big guy and I think people underestimate how big he is. When he grabs you, because he’s so big up top, right — they make fun of how small his legs are — but he’s 225lbs [and] a lot of the weight is up top. He’s so long that he almost hangs on you. It’s like a towel when you’re in the clinch and I think Izzy may struggle with that because Jones is so big.”
Few people are better acquainted with Jones and the various problems he can pose than Cormier. But even though Cormier thinks Jones’ size would be too much for Adesanya at the moment, he says it’s still a fight he’s interested in seeing down the line when Israel can add some muscle because Adesanya’s skillset presents a genuine threat to Jones.
“I would not mind watching them fight because if Jones has to stand with this guy, he’s in trouble,” Cormier concluded. “Jones is very hittable but Izzy needs to get a lot bigger if he’s gonna fight this guy.”
That warning may fall on deaf ears though. After all, Adesanya recently threw out the idea that he might fight Stipe Miocic one day so it’s pretty clear he’s not all that concerned with the size difference. Perhaps one day we’ll get to see if he’s right.
The Biebs. Israel Adesanya talks elaborate UFC 243 entrance: ‘If I could sing, trust me, Justin Bieber wouldn’t even have a job’.
Uhhh. Robert Whittaker felt he was ‘controlling the fight’ before getting caught by Israel Adesanya.
Borrachinha. Paulo Costa details post-UFC 243 run-in with Israel Adesanya, fears he’ll kill champ in Octagon.
UFC 243 Post-Fight Show.
UFC 243 post-fight presser.
Fighters pick fights - JJ vs. Waterson.
Shawn Merriman always looking for an opportunity.
6th Round. Immediate post-fight reaction to UFC 243.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
I’m . . . confused.
I just want to say thank you for all the love and support I have felt from everybody, it honestly makes me love what I do. Tonight just wasn’t my night, it happens but I’ll just come back stronger. I always do. pic.twitter.com/S1uBgbvno9— Robert Whittaker (@robwhittakermma) October 6, 2019
You should not have done this! See you soon. pic.twitter.com/jxU9U71PoO— Paulo Costa ( Borrachinha ) (@BorrachinhaMMA) October 6, 2019
My wish list Usman, Colby, Isreal, Khabib. That order— Tyron T-Wood Woodley (@TWooodley) October 6, 2019
I am very critical, but some of you people are missing the boat. @stylebender is a fucking superstar. Charismatic, Unique, Speaks well and can fight.— Ben Askren (@Benaskren) October 6, 2019
I'm fighting the Irishman next. You're close but not yet buddy keep punching @danthehangman— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) October 6, 2019
Quit chasing leprechauns, let's scrap.— Dan Hangman Hooker (@danthehangman) October 6, 2019
Dan can fight Cowboy... I'm chilling out until something really excites me. Working on my craft— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) October 6, 2019
You should try working on winning a fight. Don't let a loss make you gun shy, let's run it!— Dan Hangman Hooker (@danthehangman) October 6, 2019
Jon is a strange duck. Remember like two months ago when he wouldn’t even discuss heavyweight?
I think Adsanya is moving up to light heavyweight just to fight Jones lol. #UFC243— Francis Ngannou (@francis_ngannou) October 6, 2019
By the time this kid gets his confidence together I’ll probably already be in the heavyweight division. I don’t need to wait till 2021 to start believing in myself https://t.co/PE16eSVl9i— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) October 7, 2019
Well! It seems like everybody is changing division but there is not upper division so I guess I'll always be at the HWD lol. https://t.co/JawDZBZFm7— Francis Ngannou (@francis_ngannou) October 7, 2019
The champ struggling with the U.S. visa system.
Thor supporting the team.
Good lord, Waterson looks ripped.
Everyone is talking about Izzy moving up but let me throw this idea out there: Khabib vs. Adesanya. Khabib is a big lightweight and Izzy could probably make 180 for a catchweight. Striker vs. Grappler, undefeated vs. undefeated. Plus there’s like, an actual chance for both of them to win instead of the guaranteed mauling Jon puts on Izzy. Now that’s a superfight.
Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.
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