Israel Adesanya reveals how him and Jon Jones Set Aside Feud and Embraced Mutual Respect


Israel Adesanya reveals how him and Jon Jones Set Aside Feud and Embraced Mutual Respect

Israel Adesanya and Jon Jones, two of the UFC’s biggest stars, have had a tumultuous relationship over the years. There was a time when a potential matchup between the Middleweight and Light Heavyweight champions seemed like a real possibility. However, circumstances and the passage of time have changed their dynamic, and both fighters have moved on from their feud.

Israel Adesanya China
Feb 9, 2019; Melbourne, Australia; Israel Adesanya (red gloves) gestures to Anderson Silva (blue gloves) during UFC 234 at Rod Laver Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasmin Frank-USA TODAY Sports

In early 2020, Adesanya became the Middleweight champion just as Jones decided to vacate his Light Heavyweight title and pursue a move to the Heavyweight division. While Adesanya did make an attempt to capture the Light Heavyweight gold, it was after Jones had already left, dashing any hopes of a showdown between the two champions.

Fast forward to 2023, and the once-fiery exchanges between Adesanya and Jones have ceased. They have chosen not to engage in verbal jabs and instead openly express their respect for each other. Adesanya recently shared his perspective on the growth and maturity that has led to this change.

“Growth is something you have to go through as a human being, as a man especially. Maturity,” Adesanya explained. “There was a point where we were… ah, f—k. I came to the UFC, I felt like — it’s up to him to admit this — he was a fan but then he was kind of like, ‘Ah, there’s another coming in this game and just taking the shine.’ But there’s enough room for us to shine. This is not like a… I even said it about Henry Cejudo when he was talking s—t about me — I’m not even in your weight class, you’re a munchkin. You don’t have to hate on me for doing what I’m doing. We can be in our own lanes and be great.”

Adesanya acknowledged his admiration for Jones and revealed that their beef stemmed from miscommunications and misconceptions. However, as time went on, the animosity diminished, and Adesanya recognized the mutual respect between them. He stated, “Real recognize real, I’ll put it that way.”

Since the period of animosity, both fighters have experienced significant success. Jones returned to the Octagon and captured the Heavyweight title in March 2023, while Adesanya reclaimed his Middleweight belt just a month later. Their respective accomplishments have solidified their positions as two of the best fighters in the sport.

In the end, Adesanya’s explanation sheds light on how personal growth and maturity can change the dynamics between athletes. What once was a heated rivalry has transformed into mutual respect, with both fighters acknowledging each other’s greatness. While a matchup between Adesanya and Jones may no longer be on the horizon, fans can appreciate the evolution of their relationship and the remarkable careers of these two remarkable fighters.

Alex Pereira Opens Up About Airport Encounter with Israel Adesanya

The intense rivalry between Alex Pereira and Israel Adesanya continues to make waves, even as the two fighters displayed respect for each other outside the octagon this week. Pereira and Adesanya had a friendly encounter at the airport in the United States, which resulted in humorous videos being shared on social media. Pereira joined MMA Fighting’s Portuguese-language podcast Trocação Franca to talk about their unexpected meeting.

Pereira explained that both fighters were staying at the same hotel in Australia but never had a chance to meet there. It was during their departure, at the Los Angeles to New York connection, that they finally crossed paths. Pereira described their interaction as friendly, with both exchanging greetings and sharing laughs. Despite the pleasant encounter, Pereira made it clear that the rivalry between them still exists.

While Pereira doesn’t speak English, he had his coach Plinio Cruz ask Adesanya if they could shoot some videos for social media. Although they had a lighthearted moment together, Pereira emphasized that once inside the cage, they would switch back to war mode. As Pereira prepares to face Jan Blachowicz, he believes it’s natural to have a rivalry with the opponent he is fighting. However, he acknowledged that the current circumstances didn’t warrant a rivalry with Adesanya.

When asked about the possibility of another UFC clash between the two fighters in the future, Pereira admitted that he wasn’t sure. He explained that it depends on his success in the light heavyweight division. Pereira stated that he could make the middleweight limit of 185 pounds if needed, but he wants to give his body a break from the weight cut. He plans to fight two or three times in the light heavyweight division before considering his next move.

Pereira’s manager has confirmed with the UFC that a win over Jan Blachowicz at UFC 291 on July 29 would earn Pereira a shot at the 205-pound championship. However, the timing of the title opportunity depends on the outcome of the matchup between Jamahal Hill and Jiri Prochazka. Hill, who defeated Pereira’s teammate Glover Teixeira to claim the vacant UFC light heavyweight title, may defend his belt against Prochazka before facing Pereira. Pereira expressed his support for Hill, as a fight between them would generate significant interest.

In analyzing potential opponents, Pereira believes Blachowicz is more technically skilled, while Hill possesses a more aggressive and open style of fighting. Pereira sees the openings in Hill’s game as both dangerous and advantageous for him.

As Pereira prepares for his upcoming fight, he remains focused on his goal of becoming a champion in the light heavyweight division. The encounter with Adesanya at the airport may have been friendly, but Pereira’s determination to succeed and his rivalry with his opponents remain unwavering.

Check out Adesanya’s comments below: “The rivalry will always exist,” Pereira said. “I’m fighting [Jan Blachowicz] now, I have to have rivalry with the guy I’m fighting, you know? He’s in there and he wants to kill me, and I want to do the same to him. How am I going to treat him [nicely]? I have to be mean there. It’s the same thing with Adesanya. For example, if I were to fight him again, we would have a rivalry. But now, why? We’ll meet; Adesanya, he’s there with a teammate, I’m in the same spot, and we can’t [cross paths] because we’ll destroy the whole place and beat each other up? That doesn’t exist. That type of rivalry doesn’t exist with me.”

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