Who is Next For Jon Jones?

By Dazzler

Apart From USADA, Who Else is Likely to be Jon Jones’s Next Opponent? There Are a Few Interesting Names That Would Make Sense…

Jon Jones is back in business. Whatever you think about the Jackson-Wink fighter, there’s no doubt that he’s still operating on an elite level. Against Alexander Gustafsson, he looked as good as he ever has done, as he executed his superior gameplan with ruthless aplomb.

Now he’s a four-time UFC light-heavyweight champion and he’s never lost a title fight. In many people’s eyes, Jones is the GOAT. Of course, others will justifiably put an asterisk beside that because of his doping controversies. Right now none of that matters. The UFC is behind him and Jones has a lot of work to get done in the octagon.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at who he could fight next. There’s a whole host of possibilities… although some are more exciting than others.

Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam, USA TODAY Sports

The ‘Lionheart’

Let’s start with the most likely and, with no disrespect, probably the least exciting of the potential match-ups. Anthony ‘Lionheart’ Smith has had a ludicrous 2018. He started off the year by losing at middleweight to Thiago Santos. However, since the move up to light-heavyweight he’s ruthlessly dispatched Rashad Evans, Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua, and most impressively, Volkan Oezdemir.

With Gustafsson out of the way, he’s next in line for a light-heavyweight title shot and was behind the Fox Sports desk yesterday watching with keen eyes.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

The Ludicrous

Brock Lesnar. Yes, Jones has made no secret about the fact that he’d like to fight the former heavyweight champion and WWE legend. Jones says he wants to snatch that match-up away from Daniel Cormier. He told SB Nation:

“I don’t really know about the deserving part. DC’s a pretty deserving guy. He does a lot of right things, carries the sport very well. But fighting Brock Lesnar is always appealing, you know what I mean? That’s a win-win situation. That’s a huge money fight.”

Now there are two problems with this match-up. The first is that Lesnar has signed a new contract with the WWE. The second is that amount of juice in an octagon will surely have to come with a tsunami warning.

Mandatory Credit: Gary Vasquez, USA TODAY Sports.

The Trilogy

‘Bones’ is demanding that Daniel Cormier comes back down and fights him again for the light-heavyweight title. However, this makes no sense. Sure, if they still have bad blood, they should fight – but it should be at heavyweight. It doesn’t make sense for Jones to fight Gustafsson instead of ‘DC’ for the light-heavyweight title if you’re just going to make the former ‘champ-champ’ come back down again.

Putting this fight at heavyweight adds a totally new dimension that will make the fans get excited. The UFC will surely be excited by it too. If Jones were to beat ‘DC’ and become a double champion, then he would surely become the face of the organization and retire Cormier in the process. Cormier needs to make sure that as the company man, any rematch with Jones is on his terms.

Stipe Miocic. Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Stipe

Let’s be real, if Jones is eyeing up a fight against Lesnar, then he must have some interest in fighting at heavyweight. Stipe Miocic has been namechecked in the past as a previous opponent for Jones, and this could be an ideal fight for ‘Bones’ to see if he has what he takes to fight in the top-division. Miocic is an elite opponent – he’s still the most successful heavyweight champion of all time.

However, this fight would come without the emotional baggage of a trilogy fight with Cormier, which might make it more attractive. Of course, the risk of losing is high against such a big man, which might make Jones think twice about taking this one.