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Jon Jones has ‘no interest’ in Israel Adesanya: ‘He’s very human to me, he’s not some special guy’

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Jon Jones already holds wins over eight current or former champions from the UFC, Bellator and ONE Championship, which is why he’s not sweating an eventual showdown with Israel Adesanya like it’s a necessary fight to define his legacy.

Ever since Adesanya first arrived in the UFC, he has backed up every bold proclamation he has made, which includes becoming the undisputed middleweight champion in only seven fights with the promotion.

He has also taken aim at Jones as a potential opponent for the future while teasing a move up to 205 pounds to face the greatest light heavyweight champion in mixed martial arts history. The challenge from one UFC champion to another soon transformed into a bitter war of words with Jones and Adesanya taking shots at each other in interviews and over social media.

Now just days away from his next title defense at UFC 247, Jones is downplaying Adesanya has some kind of mythical figure that he has to get through if he wants to be remembered as the best of all time.

“Honestly, I have no interest in Israel, at the end of the day,” Jones said on Thursday. “Anderson Silva was a guy everyone wanted to see me fight and I never wanted to do it because I had so much respect for Anderson. I feel the same way with Izzy but it’s not coming from a place of respect.

“It’s like my career isn’t based around fighting him. Him to fight me, it would be huge for his resume. But for me, I feel like I already have so many legends under my resume but he’s not even a legend.”

While Jones has remained virtually untouched throughout his entire career outside of a disqualification loss in a fight he was dominating, the reigning 205-pound king has witnessed Adesanya crumbling during a kickboxing match back in 2017.

Add to that, Adesanya just became an undisputed champion last October while Jones has been raining terror on the UFC’s light heavyweight division since he first won the title back in 2011.

“We’ve all seen that video of him fighting some Alex [Pereira] guy and catching a clean overhand right,” Jones said about Adesanya’s knockout loss. “So he’s very human to me. He’s not some special guy. I don’t see what everybody else is seeing in him.

“I think his whole anime thing and how he’s all [frantic] with his hands and all this crazy stuff, I think that’s kind of entertaining to a certain fanbase but for me, it’s like dude, I would slap you, get out of here kid.”

While Jones doesn’t think much of Adesanya from a competitive standpoint, he can’t deny that the Nigerian born champion does enjoy a thriving fan base near his adopted home in New Zealand.

After hearing about ticket sales for his fight in Houston this weekend, Jones feels that maybe he should start traveling outside of Las Vegas more often and a showdown with Adesanya in Australia could be produce monster numbers.

“If I can possibly break numbers here in Houston, I can only imagine what could happen if I went to Australia or one of these other countries where they never expect to see me,” Jones said. “I think the people would come out and that’s what it’s about. Giving love, sharing it.

“[Adesanya] is [a big draw in Australia’. I bet I’d be an even bigger [draw].”