Manager Abe Kawa on Israel Adesanya's 'mind deal' to fight Jon Jones: 'There's no deal anywhere'

Israel Adesanya’s desire to one day share the cage with Jon Jones may be a reality in the Kiwi’s mind, but it’s not a reality anywhere else.

At least, that’s the view of Jones’ manager, Abe Kawa, who told “Submission Radio” that the reigning UFC middleweight champion is overreaching by chasing a fight with the pound-for-pound star and 205-pound champ.

“Let’s be real, if Dana (White) comes out and says, ‘I want Izzy to fight Jon,’ he’s doing Izzy a disservice,” Kawa said. “It will never happen. It would have to happen when Izzy is really pushing, ‘I really want to fight Jon.’ I just don’t think it’s a fight that’s realistic anytime soon, at all. So talking about it is almost … – it’s just in our minds.”

Adesanya recent stated that he expects to eventually face Jones inside the octagon, saying he would “chase him down” if Jones moved up to heavyweight. But Kawa says “The Last Stylebender” vs. Jones might not stack up in the real world.

“I’m not going to get into the Jon Jones-Izzy thing,” he said. “I come from a real estate background, and in the real estate world, whenever you get excited and you have a deal, one of my mentors used to tell me all the time, it’s a ‘mind deal.’ I was like, ‘What’s a mind deal? What does that mean?’ He goes, ‘It’s only a deal in your mind. It’s not a deal anywhere else.’ So, in this case, I would say it’s a ‘mind deal.’ There’s no deal anywhere.”

While Kawa may have shot down the possibility of a Jones-Adesanya fight further down the line, he did offer an interesting scenario he believed could play out if Jones moves up to the heavyweight division, with Adesanya’s upcoming opponent – and Jones’ First Round Management stablemate – Yoel Romero eyeing a move up to 205 pounds.

“If (Jones) moves up to heavyweight, I can 100 percent say that I do see Yoel possibly going up to light heavyweight,” said Kawa. “I would think he would fare very well there. He trains with bigger guys now, he does very well against them – 185, though, is his home. He likes being there, and he makes the weight. Given time, given the circumstances, he always makes weight.

“He’s missed weight, I want to say, one time. The situation in Chicago was the commission, not him. So, the man makes weight, he loves 185. But if Jon goes up, 205 is an absolute possibility. I’d say (it’s a) 90-percent possibility that he goes up and challenges there for the light heavyweight belt.”

Before that scenario can play out, Romero has the chance to capture the UFC middleweight title when he takes on Adesanya at UFC 248 on March 7 in Las Vegas. It’s a matchup that sees Romero get a second shot at the undisputed belt, despite heading into the contest with back-to-back losses.

UFC president Dana White defended the booking of the matchup, saying Adesanya himself had called for the fight. While Kawa is understandably pleased to see his client land another title opportunity, he admitted he couldn’t comprehend why Adesanya would voluntarily put himself, and his title, on the line against the Cuban powerhouse.

“I’d say Izzy’s probably a little nuts just for calling out Yoel,” said Kawa. “I’m going to leave it at that.”

4 months ago

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