In terms of fighting ability, most of us would assume that being compared to Jon Jones is a good thing. In terms of personality, perhaps not…
UFC middleweight Israel Adesanya doesn’t want to be compared to Bones in any way.
The 28-year-old fighter is back for his second appearance in The Octagon on Saturday, when he faces off against Marvin Vettori.
After the undefeated fighter knocked out Rob Wilkinson in his opening UFC fight, people started wondering could he be the next Jon Jones, albeit at a lower weight class.
There are clear similarities in styles between the two fighters, although Adesanya isn’t a fighter that likes the comparison.
He said as much in the media build up for this fight, stating : “For me, it’s not about Jon Jones. It’s just, I mean, I feel like it’s disrespectful to compare me or what I’ve done throughout my career to someone else – whether it be Anderson (Silva), Conor (McGregor), Chael (Sonnen), whoever. I just feel I’m not the next blah blah blah. I’m the first me, and the one and only me. So people need to get used to it.
“The comparison’s cool, but it’s not really cool.”
Despite those assertions, the fighter certainly has one thing in common with Jones; his unpredictability.
This is a quality of his that he is more than happy to embrace.
— Israel Adesanya (@stylebender) April 4, 2018
He said: “Don’t expect anything from me in life. Expect the unexpected, because a lot of people might be expecting like, ‘He’s gonna do this, he’s gonna try and do that, he’s gonna be this guy.’ But I’m me, you know?
“I might be feeling different on that day. I might be dark on that day. I might not even talk. I might just chill, or I might be real bubbly. I might give you guys a whole song and dance an everything. But, yeah, just expect the unexpected. Always expect me to bring my best when I’m in that cage.”
He also doesn’t shy away from confrontations. This weekend’s fight with Marvin Vettori was born out of a chance encounter last December in Las Vegas.
Adesanya explained it to reporters, stating: “I was in the MGM (after UFC 219), walking through, and I happened to see Marvin and his crew walking through, as well. Out of respect, I was like, ‘Hey, good fight.’ And he just kind of gave me this weird look, and I just didn’t like the energy. I was like, ‘What the f*ck?’”
He added. “He’s got a marble head that could take shots. I want to test that, see how hard that head is. … I welcome him to try and step in the holes in my game and see what happens.”
He may not like the Jon Jones comparisons, but his epic striking and confrontational attitude is doing little to stop them.