Jon Jones questions why Israel Adesanya is allowed to fight with “long nails”

Israel Adesanya is a tad flamboyant. The Nigeran New Zealander has previously showed and addressed having his nails painted and manicured.

Long time foe, Jon Jones recently questioned how Athletic commissions treat Adesanya and expressed a belief that his nails may provide him an advantage.

Israel Adesanya is frequently spotted with manicured nails
Israel Adesanya is frequently spotted with manicured nails

However, in spite of what you might think – this isn’t really an attempt to be fashionable – there’s a reason why fighters paint their nails. The paint also works as a protective layer preventing the nails from cracking or splitting up. Which is a huge thing when there’s 50% of your paycheck on the line.

A layer of nail polish works as a hardener for the nail, minimizing the danger of it breaking.

It is not uncommon to hurt and even break the toenail while throwing a kick. For that reason some fighters feel the need to use polish as protection.

Jon Jones has recently questioned the decision to let Israel Adesanya use “long nails” during his most recent middleweight championship defense.

At UFC 276 on Saturday night, the Nigerian champion defended his title against Jared Cannonier for the fifth time. Despite winning easily, he received criticism for his performance.

Adesanya put on a brilliant defensive performance and was hardly touched as he battled his way to a five-round win. However, he was unable to stop his most recent opponent early.

Further criticisms for the middleweight title holder came from former light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones who questioned the length of Adesanya’s nails.

“Bro, serious question. How does Commission allow this dude to compete with those long-a** nails?”

Adesanya hit back at Jones. He told reporters at the post-fight press conference:

“F*** Jon Jones, f*** him I don’t want to hear about that b****, what does he want to talk about my nails for?”

“He’s just jealous and insecure, he’s a f***boy. He could never rock something like this, he’s a b****. F*** him, I don’t give a f*** what he thinks. The heavyweight world champion Francis Ngannou backed Adesanya as well. He said that Jones that the latter had been sitting back.”

Jones gave up his light-heavyweight belt and started bulking up for a transition to heavyweight. The two have been linked to a bout. However, nothing has come of it.

Ngannou tweeted:

“Since Jones been sitting back and talking s*** Izzy has defended his title at least five times. Well done champ, some people talk and some people act.”

But Jon Jones here has a very important point. Unified Rules of MMA state that the fighter should:

“It is recommended that a Commission inspector or referee bring a clipper and a file to each
event and check the fingernail length of all contestants.”

While the idea behind the referee checking the nails is that they are not excessively long or could end up cutting their opponent what often happens in the UFC is an eye poke. And with Israel Adesanya especially considering he eye poked several of his last opponents.


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