Jon Jones has spent so much time atop the UFC light heavyweight division that he doesn’t find it challenging enough. Therefore, the next stop for one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time is among the ‘big boys’ of the UFC roster. As he gears up to transition his skills to heavyweight, Jones has nothing but praise for what maybe is two toughest tests of the future.
Talking to Bleacher Report, Jones talked about his mentality heading into the heavyweight division. As someone who has overcome everything that came his way in the past decade, Jones is now looking for fights that uplift his legacy. He felt that there weren’t enough chances for him to do the same at 205-pounds. Therefore, he is investing a ton of time and effort in moving up a weight class.
As already reported by ESPN, the current plan of the UFC for the heavyweight division is that the champ, Stipe Miocic, will defend his belt against Francis Ngannou in March. The winner of the fight will put his belt on the line against Jones.
Despite who comes out on top, Jones is ready to fight either of them.
“I’ll be ready for either of them. Both fights are extremely challenging. Stipe, he’s the greatest heavyweight of all time. He has all the stats and records to prove that. And then Francis is just a freak when it comes to his knockout power, and he’s improving constantly.“
“Both fights are gigantic challenges, but that’s what I’m here for in this stage of my career: to go big and see what I’ve got,” Jones said.
When can we expect Jon Jones to make his heavyweight debut?
Jones last stepped inside the Octagon when he defeated Dominick Reyes in a very closely contested fight at UFC 247 in February 2020. A few months after the defense, he made his intentions public regarding moving up a weight class. Jones could’ve stayed at 205-pounds while preparing for a fight at heavyweight. However, he didn’t intend to hold the division hostage while he chases his second UFC gold.
As of now, the UFC is, reportedly, looking to book Jones against the winner of Ngannou vs Miocic in summer. However, the final timing of the same will depend on how the fight between Ngannou and Miocic plays out.
If the winner of the aforementioned fight suffers significant damage, then it is highly unlikely that he fights again before the end of the year. In this case, a tune-up fight for Jones wouldn’t be a bad idea. That way he can test how he feels moving around inside the Octagon with the extra weight and get some valuable heavyweight experience in the bag.