Israel Adesanya appreciates Jon Jones’ recent show of respect: ‘Real recognize real’

Israel Adesanya appreciates Jon Jones’ recent praise.

Although they’re in different weight classes, UFC middleweight champion Adesanya and heavyweight champ Jones appeared to be on a collision course. The pair engaged in some trash talk when Jones held the light heavyweight title, but a fight never came close to materializing.

But it appears both men have moved on from their past beef. In a recent interview with Australian media outlet The Sporting News, Jones admitted that Adesanya was his favorite fighter. When the quote was recited to him, Adesanya had a hard time believing it was real, but ultimately was convinced.

“Growth is something you have to go through as a human being, as a man especially,” Adesanya said on IMPAULSIVE. “Maturity… I came to the UFC – it’s up to him to admit this, I felt like he was a fan but then he was kind of like, ‘Ah, there’s another coming in this game and just taking the shine.’

“But there’s enough room for us to shine. This is not like a – even I said it about Henry Cejudo when he was talking sh*t about me. I’m not even in your weight class, you’re a munchkin. You don’t have to hate on me for doing what I’m doing. We can be in our own lanes and be great.”

Adesanya said he’s been a longtime fan of Jones, and it was “Bones” who started their beef. But for “The Stylebender,” the hatchet is buried.

“I’ve been a fan of Jon since I saw him at UFC 94,” Adesanya continued. “He fought Stephan Bonnar, rest in peace. I saw what he did in that fight. I was a fan, I think he was as well. Then he mentioned something like, ‘Oh, I’d like to fight Israel.’ Why the f*ck does this guy want to fight me? I’m middleweight.

“But then I responded back and we had beef. For a few years, it was like that then after I fought (Paulo) Costa it went really deep then and that was around the time it could have happened but I don’t know what happened, scheduling, COVID reasons, whatever. I fought Jan (Blachowicz). Yeah. Real recognize real, I’ll put it that way.”


Kai Kara-France: Israel Adesanya's knockout of Alex Pereira 'one of the biggest moments in our generation'

Video: See what happened when Alex Pereira ran into UFC rival Israel Adesanya at the airport

Jon Jones: Israel Adesanya undoubtedly a UFC star, but 'our careers are incomparable'

Israel Adesanya reacts to Jon Jones' 'shocking' win: 'I wanted more, but f*ck, that's impressive'

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie