Light heavyweight champion Jon Jones did not hold back on what he expects to happen at UFC 243.
That card is slated to take place in Australia in October with a middleweight title unification clash between Robert Whittaker and Israel Adesanya headlining the event.
Adesanya and Jones have gone back-and-forth in recent months in what could potentially lead to a highly-anticipated grudge fight between the two in the future. The latter, though, will first have to defend his title against Thiago Santos at UFC 239 on July 6. Doing media work ahead of the event, Jones was on ESPN’s “Now or Never” and revealed what he expects to happen at UFC 243.
“Real deal,” Jones said when asked about Whittaker. “Nothing but respect for him. He’s a standup guy. I can’t wait to see him stomp a mudhole in Adesanya.”
Speaking to Fox Sports later on, Jones expanded on why he believes “The Reaper” will come out on top. He even offered to help Whittaker train for the fight.
“I’m taking Robert Whittaker,” Jones said. “I think he’s the more versatile fighter and I feel like Israel was definitely exposed by [Kelvin] Gastelum at [UFC 236]. He showed that he can be touched by a guy with much shorter reach — a guy that didn’t grow up kickboxing put him through a kickboxing clinic, you know.
“So, I believe that Whittaker can win the fight, and if Whittaker needs help training for the fight, I’d love to help him.”
It’s certainly an offer worth taking for Whittaker. But let’s not forget that he, too, has shown an interest in potentially facing Jones in the future.