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Coach Eugene Bareman says Israel Adesanya could move up to light heavyweight for next fight

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UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya is coming off of a second-round TKO victory over top contender Paulo Costa at UFC 253 last month.

It was a dominant performance by the current champion who extended his undefeated streak in MMA to 20 wins. Following his win, he made it clear that he was interested in fighting the Jared Cannonier if he gets past Robert Whittaker at UFC 254, which is taking place later this month in Abu Dhabi.

However, according to his coach Eugene Bareman, Israel Adesanya could be moving up to light heavyweight division for his next fight.

Israel Adesanya and Eugene Bareman

Speaking to Submission Radio, Eugene Bareman revealed that the camp has been talking about taking the next step.

If Cannonier didn’t want to turn around and fight, then Israel would definitely fight at 205,” Bareman said on Submission Radio (h/t MMA Fighting). “We’ve already had a little chat about that. He would be perfectly willing to do that. So much is just dependent on those results in the middleweight division.

But yeah, if Cannonier wanted to wait longer because he didn’t want to turn around things really quickly, then maybe Israel can go to 205.”

Jon Jones vs Israel Adesanya could happen sooner

Following his win over Paulo Costa, Israel Adesanya doubled down his attack on former UFC Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones and the pair have been going back and forth with each other since then.

Jones relished his title to move up to heavyweight, but Israel Adesanya still wants to fight him.

He has got his heart set on doing that fight,” Adesanya said. “It doesn’t matter where Jon Jones goes. If he goes to heavyweight, goes to light heavyweight, goes up and loses two fights, three fights, wins the next three fights, Israel has his heart set on that fight. So yeah, that fight’s gonna happen, I’m just not sure when.

If we needed to fight that fight in the next six months, then I would be happy to do that, but again, that’s a team decision,” Bareman added. “That’s how we work.”

Eugene Bareman said that he isn’t a fan of the back and forth going on between Jon Jones and Israel Adesanya online. However, he stated that it could all be Jones’ ploy to hype up the fight.

I don’t know Jon Jones from a bar of soap, to be honest,” Bareman said. “There could be a side of him that just is insanely jealous that this new guy has come into the scene and is stealing a little bit of what he perceives as his thunder. That could be the fact that he’s just a really great businessman and he knows how to build fights and he knows how to make money and he’s aiming at long money, so it’s not necessarily a fight that’s in front of him now, he’s building a nest egg for him in a couple of years.

It could be just that he’s a dick and that’s just his personality and that’s just the way he is. Honestly, it’s all speculation. But with Israel as set upon doing that fight, as long as he has the blessing of his team, his group of coaches, including me, he has got his heart set on doing that fight. It doesn’t matter where Jon Jones goes. If he goes to heavyweight, goes to light heavyweight, goes up and loses two fights, three fights, wins the next three fights, Israel has his heart set on that fight. So yeah, that fight’s gonna happen, I’m just not sure when.

If we needed to fight that fight in the next six months, then I would be happy to do that, but again, that’s a team decision,” Bareman added. “That’s how we work.”

Who do you guys think wins in a fight between Israel Adesanya and Jon Jones?

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