UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya remains undeterred by his loss to light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz at UFC 259, calling the setback “a little valley” before a triumphant comeback.
“In any movie, in any anime series, you have the valleys,” he told ESPN.com on Wednesday. “This is just mine. I’m taking this very well, and I know what I have to do to get back to my true self.”
Adesanya is in good spirits despite a unanimous decision loss to Blachowicz in a bid to become the fifth champ-champ in the promotion’s history. One person he definitely won’t let rain on his parade is rival Jon Jones, who live-tweeted the light heavyweight superfight and dismissed an eventual showdown with the middleweight champ he’s sparred with over the past year.
“That shows his character,” Adesanya said. “Find a tweet of me tweeting and kicking him when everyone is sh*tting on him. He barely beat Thiago Santos. Dominick Reyes, I believe, kicked his ass. It shows the character of who we are. It shows the character of what kind of people we are.
“And I know you all are going to use this as clickbait for a title to get some clicks. It just shows the character. Time will tell. There’s going to be a time. This just shows me his true character. This is how you want to play it? Cool. Time will tell, that’s all I’ll say.”
Adesanya is headed back to middleweight, where several pivotal fights could determine his next opponent. Of a list that includes Derek Brunson vs. Kevin Holland, Marvin Vettori vs. Darren Till and Robert Whittaker vs. Kelvin Gastelum, he cited Till as a sure thing for a future showdown.
“Definitely if he wins, gets a title shot,” said Adesanya, who added he’s interested in returning to the cage as early as May or June. “‘Scouser’ is No. 1 on the list, but do your job, Till, you bum.”
But the champ also hasn’t let go of a fight with Jones, with whom he shares a rivalry that’s “deeper than fighting.”
“He knows,” Adesanya said. “We all know what he’s like. We all know how fake he is. It’s not even going to take long before he f*cks his life up again, if he hasn’t already and swept it under the rug. You had quarantine Izzy going at him last time, just giving him straight facts.
“I’m just taking my time and doing my thing, but he should do the same, because his life could be in shambles. ... Take your victory lap now. Take your shots now. Cause, yeah, you know what happens. Take your little victory lap, because you’re one of those people that likes to take joy in another man’s demise.
“I could have done the same thing to him with Thiago Santos, when everyone was sh*tting on him, I could have done the same thing when he got arrested, and he was all crying in the car and he knows the officer by his first name. I could have been tweeting, I could have had my own victory lap on three different occasions I could have, but I didn’t because that’s not my character, show the difference between him and me. Vast difference, and he’s the guy that’s all, ‘Hallelujah.’”
Jones is expected to face the winner of an upcoming title rematch between champ Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou at UFC 260 later this month. The former light heavyweight champion, who vacated his belt amid a spat over pay, has documented his move up to the big-man division, recently tweeting that he’s 245 pounds.