Israel Adesanya has no regrets about the personal nature of his Twitter war with Jon Jones, and implied things might get even more intense going forward.
Following his successful middleweight title defense against Paulo Costa at UFC 253, Adesanya (20-0 MMA, 9-0 UFC) has engaged in a social media back-and-forth with Jones (26-1 MMA, 20-1 UFC) that included some dark moments.
Jones posted images and video of Adesanya’s lone knockout loss of his kickboxing career and made mention of his father. Adesanya replied by rehashing video of Jones’ multiple encounters with law enforcement over the years, as well as telling the former lightweight heavyweight champ his deceased mother “would be disappointed” in the man he’s become.
Although Adesanya has taken some heat for what certain people would deem as crossing the line, he said he doesn’t take back any of it.
“Don’t mention my father,” Adesanya told MMA Junkie on Wednesday. “I don’t give a (expletive) if your mom’s dead. I’m sure she was a beautiful woman, a beautiful soul, but I don’t give a (expletive) if she’s dead. Don’t mention my dad. Do not mention my family. This is business, this is work. Yeah, sure, mention my coach. Cool. But don’t mention anything personal. You think you can get down and dirty? Mother(expletive) I’m from the gutter. I can get grimy. You don’t understand Nigerians. Trust me, you don’t want this war.
“If you want to go down back-and-forth dirty, bro. You don’t even know the gutter, from your little posh, suburban spot in New Mexico. You don’t know, bro. Trust me. He wants to get down and dirty and start mentioning family members? And people will say, ‘You should’ve mentioned his dad instead.’ It’s not up to you to decide what I do. You mentioned my family. It’s open season. You’re lucky I didn’t come for other members of your family.”
The in-depth nature of the online battle between Adesanya and Jones has led many fans, and “Bones” himself, to push for the fight right now. On multiple occasions, Jones has said bluntly that he doesn’t think Adesanya has any intention of fighting him, and will avoid making it happen at all costs.
Adesanya has explained he’s not going to be rushed to do anything and will do it on his timeline – July 2021. Moreover, he doesn’t see himself as the one putting more fuel on the fire. Adesanya said he’s following his own career trajectory, and Jones is the one consistently trying to intercept.
“He likes to say I talk about him but again, I never talk about him unless I’m actually asked about him,” Adesanya said. “Did you just ask me about him? Correct. Who asked me about him when I’m fighting? No one. When he fought (Dominick Reyes), did you see me tweet anything about him? Exactly. I don’t talk about him unless I’m asked about him. But he talks about me all the time because he’s (expletive) jealous. He’s scared. He knows what the (expletive) is happening because he’s been in this position before and he understands the power of momentum. It’s really hard to stop an avalanche once it gets going. With a win like I just had? Oh, boy. He knows what the (expletive) is happening. He knows. That’s why they tried to get me three fights ago, because they know exponentially I’m getting better every fight, after every fight.
“My last flawless victory let them know like, ‘(Expletive), we better get him now.’ He’s trying to push for that fight. But like his teammate (Holly Holm) said, ‘I’m writing my own story and I’ll never let anyone write my own story,’ or something to that nature. That’s me. I’ve been saying. You can’t force my hand. You can’t Canelo (Alvarez) me. You can’t force my hand. I’ve already told when I’m going to whip your ass. Pick a number and get in line. Just don’t snort the line. Relax, Jonny Boy.”
Jones’ prodding at Adesanya has included invitations to “sign the dotted line” for a fight between them. Adesanya said that’s fantasy, and explicitly noted he’s never once been approached or presented a contract from the UFC for a fight against Jones, including after UFC president Dana White called it the “fight to make.”
“Where’s the contract?” Adesanya said. “I’ve never been offered this fight, so it’s like where’s this contract that everyone likes to bring up? Paulo said the same thing, ‘Sign the contract.’ What contract mother(expletive)? I just whipped your ass, bad. Double-tap. Easy. Everyone is saying, ‘Sign the contract. Sign the contract.’ I don’t think these people know how contracts work. You have to get a contract before you sign. But yeah, cheddar makes it better. That’s a big fight.”
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Adesanya said he’s happy to keep following his path and knows the Jones fight will be there when he wants it. He doesn’t think Jones is actually going to move up to the heavyweight division, and Adesanya’s predicted timeline for the matchup at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas is only 10 months away.
There’s no doubt in Adesanya’s mind he will step in the cage with Jones, though, bringing a long line of negativity toward each other to a head. Adesanya said he will be at his peak when it happens, and given everything that’s gone on between them, is confident it will be a monumental moment in the history of MMA.
“That’s the biggest fight in UFC history,” Adesanya said. “I’ve set the date. I’ve set it a long time ago. … I’ve said it on many, many platforms. And it’s going to happen. But they’re trying to force it. They tried to get me three fights ago. They’re trying to force my hand because they don’t understand the power of momentum. I’m telling you, man, I can’t be stopped right now. Don’t get me wrong. It’s me. I can stop myself. But the momentum I have right now, I can’t be stopped. It’s a force you can’t (expletive) with.”