Israel Adesanya responds to UFC heavyweight champion Jon Jones’ compliments, saying that he’s also been his fan for many years.
Adesanya and Jones have been at odds since the Nigerian-New Zealander signed with the UFC, and the two have taken stinging verbal jabs at one another on a number of occasions. So when Jones called ‘The Last Stylebender’ his ‘favorite fighter’ in a recent interview, many were surprised.
“In the UFC, my favorite fighter right now, I hate to admit it, I hate to admit it, but I would say Israel Adesanya,” Jones said. “Israel Adesanya, him and I are not friends but he’s probably the most entertaining guy in the organization right now. His whole story with (Alex) Pereira, that whole saga they had, it was probably the most entertaining thing I’ve seen out of the UFC in a while.”
During a recent appearance on The ImPAULsive Podcast, Adesanya was informed of Jones’ comments, and he responded by revealing that he’s been a fan of the UFC heavyweight champion for many years.
“That’s a lie. He’s not gonna put that out publicly, hell no,” Adesanya said. “Really (it’s true)? Are you serious? No way… I thought you were lying… I don’t even like to talk about this s***, but for me, I’m all about growth. Growth is something you have to go through as a human being.
“We can be in our own lanes and be great. I’ve been a fan of Jon since I saw him at (UFC 94)… We had beef, and for a few years it was like that… But real recognizes real, I’ll put it that way.”
Jon Jones last fought at UFC 285, where he beat Ciryl Gane by first-round submission to win the vacant heavyweight title, whereas Israel Adesanya most recently competed at UFC 287, where he knocked out Alex Pereira to reclaim his middleweight title.