UFC 248, Israel Adesanya

Israel Adesanya says Jon Jones ‘needs me if he wants to stay relevant’

Israel Adesanya’s and Jon Jones’ feud is continuing to grow by the day.

Whenever either of them does an interview the other person’s name is brought up, yet Adesanya says he doesn’t need Jones. Instead, it is the light heavyweight champ that needs him to stay relevant.

“I don’t need him. Actually, I’ll say he needs me if he wants to stay relevant,” Adesanya said to ESPN (transcript via MMA Junkie). “Because he’s already done a lot in his legacy which is tainted by other things he’s done outside the ring. But, for right now to stay relevant, to stay current, he needs me.

“He can keep trying. But he’s got someone else to worry about right now this weekend with Dominick Reyes. So he better focus on that rather than focusing on me.”

Although Israel Adesanya has said the fight won’t happen until 2021 as he wants to defend the belt a couple of times. But, he says he could make the fight right now but respects the division.

“I don’t think I have to,” Adesanya said. “I could have done my next fight [vs.] Jones if I wanted to, but this division has been held up for so long because the former champion [Robert Whittaker] was pulling out of fights, was sick, and was holding up the division. So for me, I have to do right like the greats. Like Anderson Silva who defended 12 times, the greats like him. I want to do right by the division and defend my belt, so I’m saying if you want to come down and see me, come see me, but let me get my job done first.

“I’ve got [Paulo] Costa, [Jared] Cannonier, Darren Till is a fresh new name,” Adesanya added. “If Kelvin [Gastelum] can re-up and get back on the chopping block, he can get it, but there’s a few other guys that I want to get to – not have to, I want to get to. I want to defend my belt a few more times before I step up and fight someone like Jon Jones.”

Whether or not they will ever fight is to be seen. But, the rivalry between Israel Adesanya and Jon Jones is alive and well.

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