Jones Jones’ Twitter page reads “The Future is Now…” If that’s the case, UFC president Dana White isn’t following his phenom on the popular social media network because the outspoken promoter ain’t buying the unprecedented hype just yet.
After collecting his second consecutive 1stRound TKO victory en route to bumping his record to a dominant 11-1, the fast-rising star screamed for a step up in competition. While most thought Vladimir Matyushenko should have provided more resistance than he was able to, Jones proved he still really hasn’t been challenged in the sport of mixed martial arts.
“My goal is to become the best in the world, if not the best in my weight class,” Jones stated. “So whoever the UFC wants to give me, I’ll train my butt off and I just hope [Octagon matchmaker] Joe Silva and Dana really kick it up with me and give me some really, really tough guys.”
While he wasn’t calling for a title shot or even a top contender scrap, the youngster is right in requesting stiffer competition. Although “Bones” clearly laid out his agenda, White reiterated his stance that Jones will only get a crack at some elite eight opposition following his latest accomplishment.
“I have a ton of respect for vladdy and bones jones just launched himself into the top 8 in the world! Holy [expletive] he has potential,” White Tweeted Sunday night.
The Prez is correct in that Jones has an unlimited upside, however that doesn’t mean what he has right now isn’t good enough to at least be mentioned for a #1 contender bout. Here is my list of the UFC’s Top 8 205-pounders (in no particular order):
Reigning king Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Lyoto Machida, Anderson Silva, Rashad Evans, Quinton Jackson, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Forrest Griffin and Rich Franklin.
Although I am no handicapper, I find it hard to believe the Gambling Gods would peg Jones as an underdog against anyone on the VIP list that’s not Brazilian – less Little Nog.
However, White didn’t just fall off the turnip truck. In fact, him bringing Jones along slowly is completely by design. The Jackson Submission trained fighter clearly has the game to compete against the planet’s elite, but it takes time to build a legitimate superstar. And at the tender age of 23, Jones has a shot at being the sport’s G.O.A.T. when it’s all said and done, so White’s motivation to protect his young buck are obvious.
Although, it’s tough to keep a skyrocketing star from shinning for too long, especially when Jones commands the spotlight every time he takes center stage.