Israel Adesanya Labels UFC Rival Jon Jones ‘A Waste Of Potential’ Amid Hiatus, Arrests

    ByRoss Markey

    Apr 7, 2022
    Israel Adesanya

    Current UFC middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya has claimed that former two-time undisputed light heavyweight best, Jon Jones will be looked at as a waste of potential – amid the recent string of arrests and infringements with law enforcement, as well as his continued hiatus from the Octagon – which has so far seen a period of two years of inactivity.

    Israel Adesanya, the promotion’s undisputed middleweight titleholder, most recently headlined UFC 271 against former champion, Robert Whittaker in a title rematch. Besting the former gold holder in a unanimous decision victory, Adesanya kicked off his new, highly-publicized contract with the promotion with a triumph. 

    In the time since, Adesanya has identified the #2 ranked middleweight contender, Jared Cannonier as the next challenger to his so far undefeated divisional throne, with the pair widely expected to fight in the summer, potentially at UFC 277 in late July. 

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    Israel Adesanya has enjoyed a promotional perfect run at the middleweight limit since his UFC bow

    As for Jones, the former two-time light heavyweight gold holder has been out of action since February 2020, most recently handing Dominick Reyes a close unanimous decision loss in a main event outing.

    In August of that year, Jones, a native of Rochester officially relinquished his light heavyweight belt in a bid to finally make good on a much-awaited move to the promotion’s heavyweight division, however, has still yet to debut at the limit.

    Targeting a summer return potentially, Jones confirmed on his official Twitter recently that he is priming himself to make a June or July comeback to the Octagon, however, despite links to an interim heavyweight title clash with former champion, Stipe Miocic, Jones insists the UFC have yet to approach him with a bout agreement of any kind.

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    Sharing his thoughts on the career and recent times of Jones in an appearance on Hot Boxin’ with host, former heavyweight boxing champion, Mike Tyson, Adesanya claimed that Jones’ is viewed as someone who wasted their lofty potential, despite his winning run at 205lbs.

    “When I see sh*t like this, even this one, when I saw this (Jon Jones’ recent Las Vegas arrest), I felt like, I’m empathetic, I’m a human being, you know, I’m like, ‘Man, what a waste – what a waste of potential…’” Israel Adesanya said.

    “He’s (Jon Jones) his own worst enemy, man,” Israel Adesanya said. “I’ve done some bad things in my life myself, I’ve made some mistakes but I learned from those mistakes – I don’t make the same mistakes over and over and over again.” 

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    Adesanya and Jones has also been linked to a potential heavyweight or light heavyweight matchup in the future, however, neither man has firmly staked their claim to fight each other within the foreseeable future at the time of publication.