Reigning UFC light heavyweight king Jon Jones (pictured) is plotting a move to the heavyweight division. Blah, blah, blah…
Fight fans have been hearing this chatter for the past few years, yet nothing has come to fruition. So what’s the difference between what Jones said at Monday’s “The Time is Now” press conference in Las Vegas and what he’s muttered in the past?
Jones actually has a clear plan this time around and the logic makes perfect sense.
If he’s able to retain his title against Daniel Cormier at UFC 182, then beat the winner of January’s top contender tilt between Alexander Gustafsson and Anthony Johnson, Jones can officially profess he’s waxed the 205-pound division complete clean and it’s time to move on to bigger and, well bigger, things.
“Those two fights [Cormier, then Gustafsson/Johnson], I would consider the division clear, and that’s when I would start to entertain superfights,” Jones stated. “Superfights I would go for. I’ve been training with heavyweights for years now. I know what it feels like, and I think I would do really good against them. So that would be the next chapter.
“There are definitely a lot of heavyweights that I know I would beat. A lot of heavyweights that could give me a hell of a run or possibly beat me. I keep it real, I’m smaller than these guys.”
The UFC’s newest heavyweight champion – albeit of the interim variety – is Fabricio Werdum. Jones would welcome that matchup any day of the week and twice on Sunday because Werdum, who weighed just 232 pounds for last Saturday’s fight against Mark Hunt, is right around the weight Jones walks around at.
“A guy like Werdum, I would fight him every day, all day,” Jones said. “Why? Because he’s not the biggest guy. But the heavyweights I believe would give me the hardest time are the big ones. Not necessarily the better skilled ones, just the bigger ones. You shoot in and they sprawl out on you, that’s going to take a lot of energy to finish that shot.”
If Jones’ strategy goes according to plan, that would tie him with Anderson Silva for most consecutive UFC title defenses at 10. “Bones” became the UFC’s most decorated light heavyweight champion at the age of 26 after beating Gustafsson to collect his sixth title defense (Tito Ortiz had 5).
First and foremost, Jones needs to dispose of Cormier on January 3. Then we’ll see how it goes from there.