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Michael Bisping enjoying Israel Adesanya vs. Jon Jones feud, likes Adesanya’s chances in striking matchup

Michael Bisping
Michael Bisping
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Michael Bisping is finding ways to entertain himself in retirement and that includes watching his fellow UFC stars take shots at one another.

Since officially stepping away from active competition in 2018, Bisping has remained entrenched in the MMA community working as an analyst for the UFC and also hosting his weekly Believe You Me podcast. One of the current story lines that “The Count” has enjoyed is the ongoing feud between middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.

During an appearance on Submission Radio, Bisping talked about being a fan of Adesanya and why “The Last Stylebender” makes a good foil for Jones even if they never meet in the octagon.

“Izzy’s outstanding,” Bisping said (transcription via Denis Shkuratov). “He’s great, he’s undefeated, which is very, very marketable. He looks good, he talks good, he fights good. The guy’s a superstar. He’s got all the qualities that the UFC are looking for in a superstar, and he fights great. Okay, the last fight against Yoel (Romero), nobody wants to re-watch that one again, but that’s the way it goes. Listen, you can’t deny it was a s*itty fight. Doesn’t mean he’s a s*it fighter, ‘cause he’s not a s*it fighter, he’s outstanding, he’s the world champion for a reason. But, you know, now and again that’s just stylistically sometimes that happens. Yoel’s a serious knockout artist, he has a lot of power and obviously has the wrestling pedigree. So you’ve got to be careful. And it takes two to tango, they were both as bad as each other. It was a s*itty fight, it is what it is. He got the decision, forget about that, that’s in the past, that’s all history. But no, he’s outstanding, he’s gonna have a bright future. He’s still young.

“And I like what he’s doing with Jon Jones, I like what he’s doing. I don’t know if that fight will ever happen. It probably won’t. Not anytime soon. I think Jon’s talking about going up to heavyweight, so obviously that would put a barrier between them, but I like it. I certainly liked seeing Israel talk s*it about Jon Jones. It is funny. I just sit there in the morning eating my cornflakes and get a little chuckle out of it. So, yeah, no, he’s great, he’s great. I’m a big fan.”

Adesanya’s rise to UFC stardom has faced some hiccups, with his flashy fighting style, bravado, and elaborate entrances dividing fan opinion. His first title defense against Yoel Romero at UFC 248 last month was widely panned due to a lack of action, despite Adesanya successfully retaining his championship by unanimous decision.

What’s next for Adesanya isn’t clear after such an unappealing outing. Prior to the fight with Romero, Adesanya had been so involved in talking up a potential fight with Jones that he mentioned the possibility of moving up to heavyweight should Jones make that move as has often been speculated.

Bisping initially laughed at this suggestion, but likes Adesanya’s chances against Jones should they meet at a reasonable weight and if the bout is primarily a striking duel.

“Listen, on the feet they’d match up pretty well,” Bisping said. “I can’t see why Israel wouldn’t have at least an equal footing or potentially an advantage. Jones isn’t — I mean, we saw in his last few fights he’s not invincible, he’s not superhuman, he is beatable. Everybody’s beatable, trust me. And Jon, the longer he does it, the longer he goes, it’s kind of a game of odds. At some point somebody’s going to beat him, and it seems to be happening more and more. I mean, the fight against Dominick Reyes — and I’m not trying to dump on Jon Jones, but I feel that Reyes won that fight. The one before, Thiago Santos, that was a close fight, and Thiago Santos had a bloody blown ACL from round one. The fight before that, Anthony Smith.

“So, you know, Jon isn’t unbeatable, and Adesanya is also undefeated. They’re both pretty much undefeated in my eyes. It’s a great fight. I’d love to see it one day, but I’m not sure if I could see Israel at heavyweight. That’s why I kind of laughed there, cause he’s certainly very tall, but he’s a light middleweight at the end of the day. So, at heavyweight, he’s gonna have a big disadvantage there.”

Watch Bisping’s appearance on Submission Radio below:

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