Israel Adesanya's head coach, City Kickboxing owner Eugene Bareman, appeared recently on Submission Radio and charted out the next year or so for the UFC middleweight champion.
“Israel stated, and I think it’s a very good plan, he’s gonna do his thing in the middleweight division,” said Bareman. “There’s some really tough challenges. He should clear those out. There’s at least three or four more good challenges. But three or four more fights for Israel is like maybe within this year. So, after that, what’s the next challenge? For him, and we’ve done it in all the sports that we’ve participated in, it’s to move up in weight. And trust me, if he has these three or four more middleweight fights, we will push to fight Stipe [Miocic], a hundred percent.
“Yeah, that’s the fight. ... If Israel can get the business done at middleweight, and if he’s successful he will definitely look to move and challenge Stipe. That’s a serious thing. But for us, we’re not paying immediate attention to it. There’s just so much that we have to put our concentration into now that it’s on the back burner. It’s in the back of our minds. So, yeah, let’s see if that hurries along Jon Jones.”
"It’s not up to Israel. I make the decision on the fight. So, come 2021, Israel has to convince me that we should fight Jon Jones. And if I don’t feel that we have to, then it’s not gonna happen. It’s not even Israel’s call."
“There’s a lot of things that he would have to do, and a lot of those things that he’d have to do to fight Jon start now, that have already started. There’s a lot of stuff that we have to do. For all of Jon Jones’ faults as a person, he’s still a very, very good fighter and to prepare for someone of that nature, who’s that good, the prep for that sort of fight starts now. Yeah, but I’ve already stated that I don’t think that fight’s necessary. ... I think we’re on a different path, I just think we’re on a different journey. Israel’s got a lot of convincing to do before that fight happens.”
Next up for Adesanya is Adesanya is Yoel Romero at UFC 248 on March 7.
“Well, we just believe that if we can implement the strategy and some of the skills that we want to against Romero, we believe that we can get another type of victory, in the sense that most victories that people get over Romero are controversial and very close. But we just see a different path,” said Bareman. “And that’s only, of course, if we’re able to implement our game plan. We believe that we can beat Romero a lot more convincingly than everybody else. At the end of the day, our goal is always the victory.”
“We want to Alex Volkanovski him. We want to win all five rounds convincingly with no doubt in anyone’s mind. That’s what Alex did, right? I think we can all agree on that. I know that that’s still controversial. I know there’s still people that think that fight’s close, but that’s ridiculous. Anyway, that’s the reference I use because Alex completely dominated that fight every single round. It wasn’t close. It was without a doubt. And we want to do the same thing. We never have a game plan to stop Romero. So, I’m more talking about just unanimously, without any doubt, beating him. That’s what we want to do.”