UFC icon Georges St-Pierre has hailed Israel Adesanya as a ‘perfect fighter’ following the Nigerian’s emphatic victory over Paulo Costa at UFC 253.
Adesanya has quickly become one of the biggest stars in mixed martial arts and currently boasts a perfect 20-0 record, with nine of those wins coming inside the octagon.
Having picked apart Costa to retain his middleweight title at the end of September, there are talks of a potential superfight with Jon Jones following the pair’s nasty war of words over Twitter in recent weeks. And while St-Pierre didn’t make a prediction for that dream bout, his praise of Adesanya might just give away who the Canadian would be rooting for.
‘(Israel Adesanya’s) amazing. He’s a perfect fighter,‘ St-Pierre told ESPN. ‘We’re in the entertainment business, and our job is to entertain the audience, and he’s doing it very, very well.‘
St-Pierre isn’t the only UFC great to heap praise on Adesanya following his win at UFC 253. Daniel Cormier has revealed that he would back Adesanya to beat Jones if they were to meet inside the octagon.
Chatting to MMA journalist Ariel Helwani, Cormier said: ‘It’s the time. Right now is the time.‘
Helwani responded: ‘You can’t risk having Jon Jones lose his streak to some jabroni. You can’t. You lose it to Izzy, potentially, and now the torch has been passed.‘
Jones vs Adesanya?
Jones and Adesanya have long spoken about fighting each other, even though the former light-heavyweight champion vacated his belt and is preparing to make his debut two weight divisions above the Nigerian-born New Zealander.
And their rivalry has intensified since Adesanya’s impressive second-round TKO win over Costa, which has included some deeply personal insults at one another.
Jones instigated the war of words when he asked the current middleweight champion why he had been dodging his challenges for a fight.
Adesanya harshly responded by claiming that the 33-year-old’s mother – who died in 2017 – would be disappointed in him before making references to Jones’ criminal record.
Jones heavily criticised Israel’s portrayal of an African man by comparing to it to McGregor’s rise in Ireland.
He tweeted: ‘McGregor came and made Ireland look like royalty. You came and made African men look soft. Get the f*** out of here.‘
Any potential fight between the two may have to be put on the back-burner as Jones continues to prepare to make the jump up to heavyweight, where a huge showdown with Stipe Miocic awaits.
Purchase the UFC merch here.