Jon Jones Wants to Fight Israel Adesanya After Anthony Smith at UFC 235

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 2, 2019

LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 01:  Jon Jones acknowledges the fans during the UFC 235 weigh-in at T-Mobile Arena on March 01, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones said Israel Adesanya could be his next opponent after defending his title against Anthony Smith at UFC 235 in Las Vegas on Saturday night.

Jones told TMZ Sports he's "got a feeling me and him will eventually fight each other" amid speculation about a potential showdown with Adesanya.

"I'd be excited for that challenge," he said.

Jones knocked out Alexander Gustafsson in December to reclaim the light heavyweight belt following a 17-month absence after a failed drug test ahead of his UFC 214 clash with Daniel Cormier and subsequent suspension.

The 31-year-old New York native also mentioned Johnny Walker and Thiago Santos as possible opponents as he attempts to compete four times in 2019, per TMZ Sports.

"My job is to knock 'em down as they come," Jones said. "… My job is just to be like a brick wall."

Jones owns a 23-1 career MMA record with one no-contest. His only loss came by disqualification against Matt Hamill for illegal downward elbows in December 2009.

Adesanya has been on the fast track toward stardom since joining UFC last February. He's compiled a 5-0 record with the promotion, highlighted by a triumph over Anderson Silva at UFC 234 last month, which brought his career mark to 16-0.

The "Last Stylebender" was asked about comparisons to Jones ahead of his eventual split-decision victory over Marvin Vettori last April, telling reporters:

"For me, it's not about Jon Jones. It's just, I mean, I feel like it's disrespectful to compare me or what I've done throughout my career to someone else—whether it be Anderson (Silva), Conor (McGregor), Chael (Sonnen), whoever. I just feel I'm not the next blah blah blah. I'm the first me, and the one and only me. So people need to get used to it. The comparison's cool, but it's not really cool."

Adesanya is set to battle Kelvin Gastelum for the interim UFC Middleweight Championship at UFC 236 on April 13 in Atlanta before any possible fight against Jones.