UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker was honored that Jon Jones laid out an invitation to help him train for Israel Adesanya.
Whittaker and Adesanya face each other at UFC 243 in October and things have been hostile between them in the buildup to say the least. The same can be said even more so when it comes to Jones and Adesanya, despite the fact that they aren’t slated to face each other anytime soon.
Regardless, the light heavyweight champion is not a fan of “The Last Stylebender” and last month, said he couldn’t wait to see Whittaker stomp a mudhole in Adesanya. He also offered to help “The Reaper” prepare for Adesanya by training together and would repeat the offer on Instagram.
So what did Whittaker think of the gesture?
“Yeah, it was cool,” Whittaker told Submission Radio. “I was honored that Jon would extend that hand to me. He’s a great fighter, he’s a great fighter, and yeah it was cool.”
While Jones could have simply made the offer to get publicity, Whittaker believes he already has his fair share of it. Besides, given that the two are on opposite sides of the world, it would be hard to coordinate in the first place.
But if their paths did cross, Whittaker is more than open to training together.
“It might have been publicity, but the thing is, he doesn’t really need publicity from that,” Whittaker explained. “It’s more like, I have guys that can move like Adesanya now if I need it.
“And the other thing is, Jon lives all the way in the States, and I’m here in Sydney. So yeah, if our paths cross somehow, I’d like to take him up on some training. I think that would be great. I think he’d be a great body to move with. But we’ll have to wait and see.”
There’s also the fact that Whittaker revealed in April his intentions of facing Jones sometime in the future.
“Bones” recently fought to a split decision win against Thiago Santos at UFC 239 earlier this month. Whittaker saw the fight, but rather than looking for holes to exploit, was just appreciating the work of Jones.
“Nah, not yet,” he added. “I was just watching and appreciating the fight for what it was. I’m not trying to dissect every fight ever just in case I want to fight them. Like, I was very appreciative at how Jon does a lot of things well. Like, a lot of techniques, a lot of moves, a lot of movement patterns that he does really remarkably well that I want to steal off him (laughs). But yeah, I was just appreciating a great fight.”