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Israel Adesanya willing to ‘hunt’ Jon Jones at heavyweight

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Israel Adesanya
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

As far as Israel Adesanya is concerned, there’s nowhere that Jon Jones can hide.

The UFC middleweight champion has stated on multiple occasions his intention to move up a division and challenge Jones, presumably for Jones’s light heavyweight title; however, Jones has predicted that given Adesanya’s career trajectory they may not meet until 2021 when Jones sees himself having gone up a division himself.

In an interview with Submission Radio, Adesanya stated that he doesn’t care what weight class they’re in when the time comes for them to cross paths and he’s even willing to go up to heavyweight to fight “Bones.”

“I saw something on Instagram that by the time he goes to heavyweight the fight will be — who gives a f*ck about weight? I’ve never given a f*ck about weight,” Adesanya said. “Since when? It’s never been an issue for me. I’ve been a heavyweight in boxing, in kickboxing. I’ll do it in again in MMA. So, it’s never been an issue for me.

“He can try and run to heavyweight, but I’ll chase him down. I’ll hunt him down if I have to.”

Currently, Adesanya is on his own historic run at 185 pounds. The 30-year-old won his first 11 MMA bouts before debuting with the UFC in 2018 and has since gone 7-0 for the promotion, most recently defeating Robert Whittaker by second-round knockout to capture a championship belt.

Adesanya’s first undisputed title defense is scheduled for this March at UFC 248 against Yoel Romero and he’s mentioned that his intention is to put together a few middleweight championship defenses before pursuing opponents outside of his division. While he could bulk up for Jones, he also suggested that the longtime light heavyweight find a way to down to face him.

“Let him go to heavyweight,” Adesanya said. “Right now, I’m working at middleweight. If he wants to come, he can skip the line if he comes down to middleweight. I’ve said that already. But I’m sure he can’t do that because his frame won’t let him. So, let me do my work, shut the f*ck up and I’ll come see you when it’s time.”

Adesanya believes that a superfight between he and Jones could fill a stadium, possibly the still-under-construction Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas or one in New Zealand, the country he proudly represents. He ruled out Australia, having already headlined at Marvel Stadium against Whittaker.

Up next for Jones is a title defense on Feb. 8 against the undefeated Dominick Reyes. Jones has turned his attention to his upcoming opponent in the lead-up to UFC 247 and Adesanya isn’t worried about their feud being put on the backburner for now. He’s also still targeting Jones if Reyes manages to pull off the upset next weekend.

“I know that when I’m fighting, he tries to talk s*it about me when I’m fighting to try and take away the attention from my fight onto him, or to try like, you know, make it about him for whatever reason,” Adesanya said. “But, it’s my show. Yeah, but I don’t really care. If Dom wins, good on Dom, happy for him. And I think he’s got a big problem on his hands with Dominick Reyes as well.

“But if Dom wins, doesn’t matter, I’m still coming for that ass.”