Israel Adesanya shows UFC rival Jon Jones respect and yells ‘what did he do’

It seems even bitter rival Israel Adesanya was impressed by Jon Jones as the star returned to dramatically win the vacant UFC heavyweight title on Saturday night.

After more than three years away from the octagon, the controversial American locked in a choke hold on opponent Ciryl Gane, taking the victory in just over two minutes. The 35-year-old's display in Las Vegas was enough to win him the Performance of the Night award to go with his new belt.

And Adensanya was watching on from home. The pair had previously feuded bitterly when Jones held the UFC light-heavyweight crown from December 2018 to February 2022, a title the New Zealander publicly declared he wanted to take off him.

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However, a defeat in what an essential title eliminator to Jan Blachowicz scuppered the hopes of the 'The Last Stylebender', who was duly mocked by Jones as he tweeted: "Israel keep convincing yourself that one day you’ll be ready to face a boss like me. I’ll keep convincing myself that when that day comes, I will make you my absolute b****."

But there was little sign of animosity as Adesanya watched UFC 285 with friends, with the 33-year-old appearing relaxed as he watched on shirtless on his sofa. While scoffing pizza, he smiled as 'Bones' applied the pivotal hold.

"What did he do," yelled Adesanya. "That was so subtle. He might have just used his chest on him or something. I wanted more of a fight but thats impressive. That's impressive."

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The star also enjoyed Alexa Grasso's upset win over Valentina Shevchenko, calling the outcome "shocking." He finished the 'FREESTYLEBENDER' YouTube footage with the analysis: "Great card, stacked, and lived up to expectations."

Whether Adesanya and Jones will ever go head-to-head now appears doubtful, with the Kiwi currently operating at middleweight level. But given the history, and the undoubted interest, fans have continued to crave a grudge match between the two.

Jones has regularly been in hot water with UFC chiefs in his career, serving a suspension after testing positive for banned substances and also becoming embroiled in a pay dispute with Dana White. However, he couldn't complain with his pay on the weekend, receiving around £858,000 – nearly double Gane's salary.


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