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Daniel Cormier Heaps Praise on Israel Adesanya, But Doesn’t Like His Chances Against Jon Jones Right Now

In recent weeks, there’s been plenty of talk about the possibility of Jon Jones and Israel Adesanya [1] throwing hands. Now that the latter’s the undisputed, middleweight champ, even more so. But, according to Daniel Cormier, “The Last Stylebender” will need some time to physically prepare, if he hopes to have a realistic chance of defeating Jones.

The Adesanya – Jones rivalry

Although the stars fight in different weight classes, the two have been trading verbal jabs through the media for a little while now. The growing rivalry kicked off following Adesanya’s win over Anderson Silva in February, and he proceeded to proclaim he planned to defeat another G.O.A.T in Jones. The latter didn’t care for Adesanya’s comments, [2] and since then the two have continued to spar through social media and interviews.

Cormier’s take

Since Adesanya took out Robert Whittaker at UFC 243 this past weekend to unify the middleweight titles, talk about him fighting Jones has only spiked. Case in point, Cormier was asked for his take on the theoretical match-up, during the post-UFC 243 show for ESPN. [3]Here’s some of what Cormier had to say (quotes via MMA Fighting [4]):

“He’s just small,” Cormier said, after heaping praise on Adesanya’s championship winning performance. “He’s just small for Jones. Jones is a big guy and I think people underestimate how big he is. When he grabs you, because he’s so big up top, right — they make fun of how small his legs are — but he’s 225lbs [and] a lot of the weight is up top. He’s so long that he almost hangs on you. It’s like a towel when you’re in the clinch and I think Izzy may struggle with that because Jones is so big.”

“I would not mind watching them fight because if Jones has to stand with this guy, he’s in trouble,” Cormier concluded. “Jones is very hittable but Izzy needs to get a lot bigger if he’s gonna fight this guy.”

Now, Adesanya would likely take issue with Cormier’s comments here, as he’s repeatedly argued he’s not too small to put away bigger opponents. But, it’s hard to argue with Cormier here. After all, this is a guy who has fought Jones twice. So, he’s fully aware of how strong Jones is and the wrestling component “Bones” would almost certainly bring against Adesanya.

As it stands right now, however, most signs point to Adesyana fighting Paulo Costa next, who, has never been described as a ‘small’ middleweight. So it will be interesting to see how Adesanya does against the massive contender.