UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya could bypass light heavyweight king Jon Jones and move directly to the promotion's most dangerous division.
City Kickboxing head coach Eugene Bareman said Monday during an interview with Submission Radio that his fighter will "100%" push to fight heavyweight king Stipe Miocic after taking on all challengers at 185 pounds.
"Fighting at heavyweight is not a problem for Israel," Bareman said. "He's not going to weigh heavyweight. That wouldn't be where our advantage is. He would never weigh at what a heavyweight would (weigh). We'd fight at our walk-around weight, which is like barely past what the middleweight limit is.
"But Israel stated - and I think it's a very good plan - he's going to do his thing in the middleweight division. There's some really tough challenges. He should clear those out. There's at least three or four more good challenges. But three or four more fights for Israel is like, maybe within this year. So, after that, what's the next challenge?"
Adesanya and Jones have been engaged in a war of words since the former won his belt, with the middleweight champion recently saying he intends for the two to fight in 2021.
However, it appears Bareman prefers Adesanya make an even bigger statement by jumping up two weight classes instead of fighting Jones, who the coach said he isn't fond of.
Miocic is currently sidelined with an eye injury and his timetable for a return is unclear. He's widely expected to book a trilogy bout with former double champion Daniel Cormier when he does recover.
Adesanya, meanwhile, will make his first title defense against Yoel Romero at UFC 248 in March.
If he can make it past Romero, Adesanya has the likes of undefeated Paulo Costa - who he was originally set to fight before the Brazilian suffered an injury - and Jared Cannonier waiting in the wings before a potential superfight with Miocic can become a reality.
- With h/t to MMA Junkie