Coach Eugene Bareman claims Jon Jones has followed in the footsteps of his star pupil Israel Adesanya — and not the other way around.
While Jones has been in the UFC far longer than Adesanya has, Bareman notes that Jones only decided to move from light heavyweight to heavyweight when Adesanya began considering a move from middleweight to light heavyweight.
By his estimation, that means Jones was inspired by Adesanya.
“The only person that’s ever shown that pension for moving around weight divisions has been Israel,” Bareman said on Submission Radio. “And then, of course, Jon Jones, being who he is, has followed in Israel’s footsteps. Which is funny, because he’s meant to be the guy that’s already established himself there, but Israel’s got that guy dancing to the beat of whatever Israel rhythm he puts out.”
Adesanya, who is currently the UFC middleweight champion, is expected to challenge reigning light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz for his title in the new year. He’s also expressed interest in moving all the way up to the heavyweight division in the future.
“Look, the two fighters you’re talking about [Jones and Adesanya], they have very different mindsets,” Bareman said, explaining why Adesanya is so open to weight class changes. “That’s the first thing that’s obvious. Jon Jones hasn’t moved up. He hasn’t done anything about … he hasn’t talked about moving up, and he hasn’t wanted to move up for a decade. Israel approaches the sport very differently to Jon Jones. Israel is a real advocate for supreme martial arts, being extremely good to the point where size and weight doesn’t matter.
“He believes in that concept. He believes in that theory. He believes that, at the end of the day when all the chips fall, it will be skills that will win over size and strength, something that Jon Jones, he doesn’t have that inside of himself, which is why he’s waited so long to move up. But Israel’s a different case. He wants to go and test out his skills against a much bigger human being because he believes in them.”
Where do you stand on this one? Is Jon Jones following in the footsteps of Israel Adesanya?