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Early Preview of Jon Jones vs. Israel Adesanya With Odds and Analysis

| October 9, 2020 11:52 pm PDT
Jon Jones vs. Israel Adesanya

Will Jon Jones fight Israel Adesanya?

If you had asked me that question a few weeks ago, the answer would have likely been a tepid “Nah.”

But things can happen very quickly in the fight game, and I would not be surprised to see this one being made relatively soon. In fact, this fight is already being talked about as a potential fixture for early next year, and I have the odds for Jones vs. Adesanya to prove it.

More than this, things are approaching boiling point between two of MMA’s most recognizable stars. Both men are relentlessly tearing into each other on social media and it just doesn’t appear to be ending any time soon. Hey, if there was a line, it has been crossed multiple times to the point that, well, its “open season” for anything. At least according to Adesanya.

Today, I will take an early look at a super fight between Jon Jones and Israel Adesanya. That means analyzing the odds, why the fight should happen, as well as putting their beef under the microscope to see if it’s real or this is all just a money-making ploy.

Why not grab yourself a hot drink and join me?

Early Jones vs. Adesanya Odds

Jon Jones to Win-225
Israel Adesanya to Win+175

Jones’ odds to beat Adesanya are -225 with Bovada. What does this tell us that we don’t already know?

Adesanya is +175 to beat Jones, and I don’t think you’re going to find a better price for any of Jones’ opponents. Ever.

There are plenty of reasons to think that the UFC middleweight champion could be very competitive against the all-time great. First, his striking would cause major problems to anyone, past or present, in mixed martial arts. Second, Jones hasn’t looked great in his past two fights. Three, Adesanya has.

Jones opened at -375 for a fight with Adesanya, while the Kiwi opened at +285. There is a lot of money being placed on this fight already, and it seems that there will continue to be, even without the bout being finalized.

But will Jones vs. Adesanya happen? Is it on the UFC’s wish list? And, well, why is there talk of it happening at all?

Why Jones vs. Adesanya?

In simple terms, it’s the fight to make. Adesanya vs. Costa was big news. Khabib vs. Gaethje at UFC 254 is probably even bigger. But Jones vs. Adesanya? This, my friend, is on another level.

Jones and Adesanya are elite-level guys right now. I would go as far as to say that they join Conor McGregor in a three-man club that sits on top of the promotion’s hierarchy.

Khabib is the most dominant UFC fighter ever. But he is yet to beat the level of opposition that Adesanya has, and to an extent Jones has. He has certainly failed to transcend the sport like McGregor has, not that he would have wanted to in the same fashion. Still, as much as he is the man, Nurmagomedov is not part of that club.

But here’s where things get interesting. Jones’ pay-per-view numbers aren’t exactly great. The same could be said for Adesanya’s, in all fairness, who scored a reasonable but far from seismic 700,000 buys against Paulo Costa. That was the same number of buys that Jones vs. Gustafsson 2 pulled, by the way.

McGregor is on his own when it comes to generating PPV numbers. Two of his fights — against Khabib and a boxing match against Floyd Mayweather — are in the top three PPV sales of all time. He has multiple other fights in the top twenty. But that’s McGregor, a once-in-a-lifetime salesman.

You might be wondering where I’m going with this but stick with me.

Jones and Adesanya sit back and watch McGregor draw close to double the number of pay-per-views for a bout with Donald Cerrone than they get for title fights against dangerous guys. And that’s gotta suck, for them and the UFC.

But if they fight, they should draw a lot of attention. The UFC promotional machine will be spitting out everything it can to hype the fight, which will be phenomenal to watch anyway. So from a financial perspective, it has to happen. Both men want super paydays.

But guess what, they also hate each other. Seriously. And when you put financial blue skies and bitter acrimony together, well, that’s a winning recipe in this sport.

Is the Adesanya vs. Jones Beef Real?

Yup, it is real. This is 100% grass-fed beef, sizzling on a hot stone, waiting to be cut into.

This grudge does not look like ending any time soon, and Adesanya looks genuinely committed to coaxing Jones into a fight. The Kiwi has been relentlessly trolling Jones on Twitter in recent times, with “Bones” fully engaged in counter shots.

As for what started things between Adesanya and Jones, well, that’s not as clear. But these have been going at it since 2018, when “The Last Stylebender” was regularly being compared to Jones despite having just a couple of wins under his belt in the UFC.

Things have progressed to the point where both men are spending hours on Twitter, exchanges insults, memes, and taking highly personal shots at each other’s careers and characters. Let’s be honest, it’s not difficult for Adesanya to find subject matter given the many times Jon Jones has made the headlines for the wrong reasons.

But Adesanya drew criticism on September 30 for what was considered a cheap shot. The UFC middleweight champion responded to a tweet from Jones with reference to the pound-for-pound great’s deceased mother.

Since then, things have intensified between the two. But Adesanya’s not backing down. In fact, he doubled down on his campaign of tormenting Jones in a recent interview.

“Don’t mention my father. I don’t give a (expletive) if your mom’s dead. I’m sure she was a beautiful woman, a beautiful soul, but I don’t give a (expletive) if she’s dead. Don’t mention my dad. Do not mention my family. This is business, this is work. Yeah, sure, mention my coach. Cool. But don’t mention anything personal. You think you can get down and dirty? Mother(expletive) I’m from the gutter. I can get grimy. You don’t understand Nigerians. Trust me, you don’t want this war.”

“If you want to go down back-and-forth dirty, bro. You don’t even know the gutter, from your little posh, suburban spot in New Mexico. You don’t know, bro. Trust me. He wants to get down and dirty and start mentioning family members? And people will say, ‘You should’ve mentioned his dad instead.’ It’s not up to you to decide what I do. You mentioned my family. It’s open season. You’re lucky I didn’t come for other members of your family.”

Wow. I guess the fight is on then.

Will Jones vs. Adesanya Happen?

When will Jones vs. Adesanya happen? I’m not sure. But what I am confident of is that the UFC wants this fight.

The promotion’s president, Dana White, has indicated that he is willing to put it together if both men want it. Guys like Jones’ former rival Daniel Cormier and fellow ESPN pundit Ariel Helwani are campaigning for it to happen now. Do the fans want it? Erm, hell yeah? And most out there in cyber land looking to bet on UFC fights will also be stoked.

Who would be against the idea of Jones fighting Adesanya? I can’t think of anyone who would not be pumped for this one. It would arguably be the biggest fight in the history of the promotion. I know that term gets thrown around at least three or four times a year, but seriously. This would be huge.

But let’s talk about obstacles to this fight. The one obvious stumbling block is weight. Adesanya is the 185-pound titlist, while Jones — the former 205-pound kingpin — has relinquished that title and is preparing to move up to heavyweight.

There is no chance that Jones moves down to middleweight. However, if the money is right — which it almost certainly will be for a fight with Adesanya — the native of Rochester, New York would be in for a light heavyweight clash.

Other than that, it’s a case of finding a date for the fight. Now, with the current global health situation as it is, planning for pretty much anything is difficult. It goes without saying that the UFC would want this fight in front of a packed house in Vegas, so they might hold off to get a better picture of what is possible and what is not, and go from there.

That’s not to see that it won’t happen without fans. Adesanya is coming off a win over Paulo Costa at Fight Island, and that was considered a major fight. But Jones vs. Adesanya is a step above. We’re talking big numbers and a potentially legendary contest.

If the UFC can number crunch to a favorable outcome for all parties, there is a possibility of seeing this fight in the first quarter of 2021.

Early Prediction for Jones vs. Adesanya

I don’t need to tell you that is an incredible matchup. In one corner you have arguably the most naturally talented mixed martial artist of all time in Jones. In the other, a striking phenom in Adesanya.

Anyone with experience of wagering on MMA will know that Jones is a guy you just cannot back against. He has 26 wins from 28 fights, with one no contest and one disqualification. The man has never been officially beaten in his career and has entered as the favorite in every UFC fight other than his first two.

Jones is a genuine legend of the sport, but he is not the kind of transcendental figure that Conor McGregor is. Whether it’s a lack of self-promotion, his various run-ins with the law, or his fighting style that has held him back from becoming a global superstar is up for debate.

Unlike Jones, Adesanya has lit the promotion on fire since arriving in 2018 with a record of 11-0 earned in Australia, New Zealand, and China. In just 18 months, the 31-year-old won the UFC middleweight title. He has put away Kelvin Gastelum, Robert Whittaker, Yoel Romero, and Paulo Costa in his last four fights.

If Adesanya could beat Jones, he’s moving towards all-time legend status himself. Which is nuts, considering how short of a timeframe he has been fighting in the UFC. He would have wins over both Jones and Anderson Silva on his record. Crazy is not the word.

But as for who wins? Nah, not today. I’m going to think long and hard about these two and come with a comprehensive breakdown of the fight before I reveal my prediction for Jones vs. Adesanya. To do anything else would be an insult to both you and me, but more importantly, to the fight itself.

As soon as the fight is even close to being made, I promise that I will be back with a full preview of the fight. I’ll be covering updated odds from the best UFC sportsbooks, as well as the best bets for Jones vs. Adesanya. You have my word.

For now, I’ll leave you with Daniel Cormier and Ariel Helwani discussing why this fight should happen. It’s worth a listen!

Adam Haynes
Adam Haynes

Adam is a sports writer and tipster with a strong background in MMA, boxing, and combat sports.

When Adam isn't writing about those, as well as politics, rugby, and Gaelic Games, he can be found working on methods and strategies to beat the bookies.

For his troubles, Adam is a fan of Leinster Rugby, Glasgow Celtic, and trusting the process.

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