Israel Adesanya: Jon Jones ‘still part of my plan’ despite his move to heavyweight

Israel Adesanya still has a Jon Jones fight in mind.

The UFC middleweight champion is not letting Jones’ recent move to heavyweight discourage him from angling for a potential superfight with arguably the greatest mixed martial artist of all-time. Adesanya (19-0 MMA, 8-0 UFC) doesn’t have a timeline for when he’d like to face Jones, but he’s still very much interest in the matchup.

“I still have that in mind, it’s still part of my plan,” Adesanya told MMA Junkie at a virtual press conference Thursday promoting his title defense against Paulo Costa at UFC 253. “But let me ask you this, how many years has Jon Jones been in the UFC? And he only just moved up in weight, right.

“So why would he or anyone else expect me to move up in weight when I just got the belt rather than defend my belt like he has and create a legacy before jumping up in weight. So I’m sticking to my plan. I’m never going to let anyone make me fold or make me make a move ahead of schedule. I’m sticking to my plan.”

It’s uncertain if fans will ever get a superfight between Jones and the former longtime light heavyweight champion, but for now, fans will get a highly anticipated middleweight title bout with Adesanya against Costa. The two will square off in the main event of UFC 253 on Sept. 26. The event will go down in Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.

“Stylebender” is taking Costa very seriously, but he maintains he does not consider his opponents to be among the best strikers he’s faced in the UFC.

“He’s not one of the best,” Costa said. “I’ve faced way better strikers. In the UFC, he’s definitely not the best striker. I think (Anderson) Silva is a better striker than him, (Robert) Whittaker is a different striker than him, but can be better. So he’s not the best striker I’ve fought, but he’s dangerous. But you have to remember, so am I.”

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