Jon Jones may be focused on his title defense coming up at UFC 247 against Dominick Reyes, but he’s always happy to dish out a side serving of trash talk aimed at two of his least favorite people in the sport.
Perhaps the person at the top of his hit list lately has been UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, who has gone back and forth with Jones in interviews and over social media for the past few months.
In the wake of his title win in October, Adesanya has been asked about Jones repeatedly and the former kickboxer turned UFC champion has said they will meet eventually but not until he’s truly ready to test the waters at 205 pounds. He added that if Jones wants the fight sooner than 2021, he’ll have to cut down to middleweight to make it happen.
After initially responding, Jones said he was closing the book on addressing Adesanya until a real fight between them could materialize but he went back on that statement by continuing to attack “The Last Stylebender” on Twitter.
On Friday, Jones addressed Adesanya yet again after he was asked about a potential matchup between them and he did not mince words at all.
“Izzy’s a p*ssy and there’s really no way around it,” Jones said. “As far as him being in my head with the internet stuff, it’s just fun. It’s a lot of fun. The fans enjoy it when we chirp back and forth and I like to keep the people excited so that’s all that’s about. He is not in my head. He’s not in my head at all actually.
“I’m liking the energy he brings to the sport. I’m liking being a part of it. Like I said, if he wanted to fight me, he totally would.”
Jones discounts the idea that a fight with Adesanya should have to wait until at least 2021 if the two of them really wanted to clash.
While Adesanya has said he wants to defend his middleweight title and forgo a move to 205 pounds just for now, Jones seems to be reading between the lines when it comes to a potential fight between them sooner rather than later.
“It’s unfortunate me and him have to take things this way,” Jones said. “At the end of the day, if Israel wanted to fight me, that would be a gigantic fight for this sport. A lot of people talk about ‘well why are you forcing Israel to go to light heavyweight, you never went to heavyweight.’ There’s a gigantic jump between me and the heavyweights.
“Me and Izzy, we’re only 15, 20 pounds apart. So if Izzy really wanted to fight me, he would do it.”
Jones lived with Covington when both were part of the wrestling program at Iowa Central Community College but that relationship dissolved long ago. Covington has gone out of his way to trash Jones publicly and the reigning light heavyweight champion has done much the same.
On Friday, Jones was asked about Covington’s recent revelation that his outspoken demeanor was a result of the UFC threatening not to re-sign him to a new contract and he sought to gain some attention for antics outside the Octagon. While Covington later stated that his brash, unapologetic brand of trash talk was just his personality ratcheted up to 11, Jones obviously disagrees.
“Colby’s a habitual liar at the end of the day. He really is,” Jones said about the former interim champion. “He told the fans that we lived together for two years. We lived together for one semester.
“I’ve made a lot of mistakes and a lot of people don’t consider me to be a good person, but coming from me, Colby’s a really bad person. He really is. He really, really is.”
Jones says you have to look no further than the rest of the fractured relationships that Covington has left in his wake as he’s made his way up the welterweight ranks to know exactly what he’s all about.
“There’s no coincidence that Tyron Woodley got to know him and hates him. [Jorge] Masvidal got to know him and hates him,” Jones said. “I got to live with him and really don’t like him.
“If any of you guys got to know him, he really is a rotten person. I think MMA community is going to start to see it over the years.”