Israel Adesanya returns to action this weekend at UFC 234, facing former UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva in the co-main event of the show.
The middleweight contender has been compared to UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones in the past, but Adesanya says that he is just trying to be himself.
“Everyone says that,” Adesanya said in 2017 on MMA Junkie Radio. “… When I first saw Jon, I think it was UFC 94: GSP vs. B.J. Penn 2, and he fought Stephan Bonnar. And I was watching him and watching the way he wrestled. I was like, ‘Oh.’ Because, you know, same body type and frame. I mean, he’s been an inspiration coming up, but I’m not trying to be anyone else. I’m just trying to do me.”
Both Jones and Adesanya are similar in several ways, including in their build and the fighter’s professional MMA records (23-1-0-1NC for Jones/15-0-0 for Adesanya).
Jones, for his part, says that their body types and skin color is all they have in common.
“I feel like we’re both … we have similar body types, and we’re both black. And that’s about it," Jones said in a Twitter video posted by UFC News (via MMA Junkie). “I don’t think we fight alike. I don’t think we fight similar. I do a lot of wrestling and heavy ground-and-pound and a lot of submissions, and I do strike from both stances. (But) I feel like our game is very different.”
UFC 234 takes place on Saturday, February 9 from the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia with Robert Whittaker and Kelvin Gastelum headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.