The prospect of a 'super fight' between Israel Adesanya and light-heavyweight great Jon Jones appears to be dead in the water, after the Kiwi's first-ever MMA defeat on Sunday.
The 31-year-old's bid to become a dual-division champion was thwarted by Jan Blachowicz, who overpowered Adesanya down the stretch to secure a unanimous decision win in their main event showdown at UFC 259.
Over the past two years, 'The Last Stylebender' and Jones have traded barbs on social media, with Adesanya predicting the two would eventually settle their differences in the Octagon as part of a blockbuster stadium event.
Jones has been vocal with his belief that he'd use his bigger frame to manhandle Adesanya if the two were ever to fight, and - in his eyes - the nature of Blachowicz's win on Sunday only substantiated those claims.
Predicting a Blachowicz win by knockout, Jones live-tweeted the fight.
"Can't wait to make this b*tch eat his words," he began, as the fight started.
"Great job Jan there’s two minutes left in the fight but Izzy is on bottom, great win. Definitely not expecting any surprises," he added.
"Yeah never mind, that's not even worth my time."
A win for Adesanya would've launched his star into the stratosphere and put him on a collision course with Jones at heavyweight.
The American will take on the winner of the March 27 title fight between Stipe Miocic v Francis Ngannou in his debut at heavyweight.
"If you ever wrote me talking shit about Izzy beating me, slap yourself," Jones tweeted.
Post fight, UFC president Dana White ruled out any chance of Adesanya taking on Jones, encouraging him to move back to middleweight where he's proven a dominant champion.
"He's the middleweight champion," said White. "He doesn't get the light heavyweight title, he doesn't get Jon Jones.
"Jon’s going to be so much bigger than Israel. I think Israel should focus on middleweight right now. Get back in there and keep doing what he does in the middleweight division."
Adesanya confirmed his intentions to return to middlewight to attempt a third world title defence, but insists there are more light-heavyweight fights in his future.
"You’ll see me back at 205 later... but right now I’ve got a division I’ve got to dominate,” he said.