Newly minted interim UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and light heavyweight champ Jon Jones have been firing shots at each other via social media and in interviews for the past couple of months. Former middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva, however, feels Adesanya crossed a line recently with his “disrespect” of Jones.
What Israel Adesanya said about Jon Jones
Ahead of UFC 236, where Adesanya defeated Kelvin Gastelum in a tremendous five-round battle to claim his title, Adesanya said in an interview with TMZ Sports, “I already killed one G.O.A.T. and I’m hunting the next,” in reference to Silva and Jones.
Following the fight, Adesanya appeared on The MMA Hour, where he slammed Jones further, calling him inflammatory names before declaring, “He’s picking the time when I’m supposed to get the most shine to come at me because he’s irrelevant. No one really cares about him. I’m everything he wished he was; I’m everything he wished he would have been.”
What Anderson Silva thinks about Israel Adesanya’s comments about Jon Jones
Silva believes that Adesanya “crossed the line a little bit” when painting Jones in such a light.
“That’s my personal opinion because Israel is young and Jon Jones has a great story for a long time in this sport. I think Adesanya needs to respect Jon Jones, but for the business, it’s good for Dana (White and the UFC’s business),” Silva said.
For Silva, however, he doesn’t think it’s appropriate for Adesanya to insult the athletic accomplishments of a fighter that has the achievements of Jones, whom Silva puts on a pedestal above himself.
“I respect all fighters, especially Jon Jones. Jon Jones is my young brother and I don’t have nothing for talking about Jon Jones. He’s the best fighter in the world.”
What’s next for Adesanya, Jones and Silva?
Regardless of the friction between Adesanya and Jones or what Silva thinks of it, the likelihood of any of them mixing it up in the Octagon any time soon is minimal.
After laying claim to the interim middleweight title, Adesanya is expected to return to the Octagon later this year to unify his belt with that of undisputed UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker, who is healing from an unexpected emergency surgery earlier this year.
Jones, meanwhile, is slated to headline UFC 239 on July 6 in Las Vegas, where he will put his light heavyweight title on the line against Thiago Santos.
Silva is the first of the three that we’ll see in the Octagon again, as he is scheduled to fight Jared Cannonier in the UFC 237: Namajunes vs. Adrade co-main event on May 11 in Rio de Janeiro.
Anderson Silva’s UFC 237 scrum with reporters
(Courtesy of UFC)