UFC: Israel Adesanya felt 'chills' watching Michael Jordan's The Last Dance documentary

Watching the relentless drive of his sporting idol to be the greatest of all time left Israel Adesanya with "chills". 

Like millions of others, the UFC middleweight champion was gripped by Netflix's The Last Dance, which focused on the success of the Chicago Bulls in the Michael Jordan era.

A major focal point of the 10-episode documentary was Jordan's obsession with success, both personal and for his team, and the lengths he would go to achieve that.

Adesanya has been a Jordan fan for as long as he can remember, but the peek behind the curtain has been an inspiring experience for a fighter who envisions being the greatest of his chosen sport.

Speaking to Newshub, Adesanya said The Last Dance has left him itching to create his own legacy. 

"I take motivation from a lot of things in life but that, in particular, I related to a lot because I love basketball," Adesanya said.

"I look forward to making my next walk to the Octagon, because like Mike, I want to make people shut up. 

"I want that moment like Jordan had when he hit that shot and turned to the crowd and said 'go the f**k home' - that moment gave me chills because I want that moment to silence my doubters.

"That whole documentary, in so many different ways, inspired me - what a f***ing trip. It was awesome."

Next in line for Adesanya is undefeated Brazilian striker Paulo Costa. The two have been at each other's throats on social media channels for 12 months, with Costa claiming he will walk through the Nigerian-Kiwi and claim his title.

Adesanya, the current New Zealand sportsman of the year, is embracing the challenge Costa brings, but has warned the 29-year-old that his lack of respect will be his downfall.

"Keep that same energy Paulo - keep that same energy," Adesanya said. 

"Anger can give you clarity and that's how I feel right now. This fight will be a finish - he really thinks he will walk right through me and finish me and that's a good thing for me.

"Everyone says all that stupid shit, but when they step inside the cage with me they realise it's no longer fun and games."

Jon Jones is a "pussy"

Jon Jones
Jon Jones Photo credit: Getty

Beyond a potential August fight with Costa, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones remains a possibility in arguably the biggest superfight the UFC can make.

'Bones' has been flirting with the idea of fighting the monstrous Francis Ngannou at heavyweight - but as recently as Friday, the American claimed he couldn't reach financial terms with the UFC on jumping weight classes.

Adesanya isn't surprised. He told Newshub his arch-rival is just trying to stay relevant by getting his name in headlines. 

"I will tell you this with absolute certainty. Jon Jones will not take that fight - he will find an excuse or a way out.

"This is just for hype and a few social media likes.

"This mother f****r expects me to move up in weight to fight him and I will. 

"Let me just clean out my division and then I'll f*** him up.

"Look. he's been at 205 [light heavyweight] for 10 years and been talking about jumping up that whole time - but has he ever moved up one? No he hasn't, because he's a pussy.

"He talks a whole bunch of shit - he ain't doing it. No one wants that Francis Ngannou smoke - no one. 

"That dude is a straight-up murderer. Francis is a god of war."

Adesanya confirmed to Newshub he would be "down to fight" on Dana White's 'Fight Island', and expects to be back in the cage by November at the latest, depending on the availability of Costa.

But if an opportunity came up and the money was right, 'The Last Stylebender' is good to go.

"I think I'd be good with five weeks in camp.

"I'd normally want an eight-week camp, but I'd be ready to go in five weeks."