Cormier: "Israel Adesanya can give Jon Jones trouble in striking, but he’s just small"

7. 10. 2019

Before his middleweight coronation at UFC 243 on Saturday, Israel Adesanya had been going back-and-forth with light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. “The Last Stylebender” wants the fight to happen in 2021 at the Raiders Stadium in Las Vegas.

A Jones vs. Adesanya matchup is something that does draw some interest. But for former two-division UFC champion Daniel Cormier, the newly-crowned middleweight champion may be running into quite a disadvantage.

“He’s just small,” Cormier said alongside Brett Okamoto during the UFC 243 post-fight show on ESPN. “He’s just small for Jones. Jones is a big guy, and I think people underestimate how big he is when he grabs you because he’s so big up top."

“They make fun of how small his legs are, but he’s 225 (pounds). But a lot of the weight is on top, and it’s almost like he hangs on you. It’s like a towel when you’re in the clinch, and I think Izzy may struggle with that because Jones is so big."

“I would not mind watching them fight because if Jones has to stand with this guy, he’s in trouble,” Cormier continued. “Jones is very hittable. But Izzy needs to get a lot bigger if he’s going to fight this guy.”

“DC” feels Adesanya’s weakness is still at the takedown and grappling aspects, and he was puzzled at how Robert Whittaker didn’t attempt to take the fight to the mat.

“I think it was a massive mistake.” he said. “Even if you’re not securing takedowns, you’ve got to attempt them."

“I know when you talk about Marvin Vettori, it was a long time ago. But he kept trying to shoot,” Cormier added. “So he was finding success against Israel a little bit, because Israel had to respect the takedown attempts."

“Rob gave him nothing to think about outside of striking, and it cost him.”

Adesanya unified the UFC 185-pound titles at UFC 243 by stopping Whittaker in two rounds. He also won an extra $50,000 for Performance of the Night, as he keeps his undefeated record intact (18-0, with 14 wins by knockout).