Dana White Puts The Brakes on Jon Jones to Heavyweight Talk
There's been plenty of speculation that Jon Jones could throw down in a heavyweigiht fight soon. But, recently UFC President Dana White put the brakes on all that talk.
For years, there’s been talk about Jon Jones fighting at heavyweight, and more recently, a ‘not if, but when’ narrative has formed regarding the move. But, in a recent interview Dana White did, the UFC President didn’t sound so sure that the light-heavyweight king will be moving up anytime soon.
Jones’ recent comments about moving to heavyweight
Due to Jones’ awe-inspiring abilities and his largely dominant reign at 205, discussion about him fighting at heavyweight is nothing new. But, in more recent months, speculation about when and if Jones will take a heavyweight bout has peaked. Case in point, at a press conference last month, Jones said this (quotes via Calgary Sun).
“I think it’s a very strong possibility,” Jones said when asked about moving to heavyweight. “There’s always gonna be someone next (at light-heavyweight). I feel as if I’ve cleared the division and I’m waiting around and I’m taking on new challenges. I’m not sitting on the title. I’m not hiding from anybody.
“After the Thiago Santos fight, I was at a place where I was entertaining the heavyweight division,” Jones said. “I’ve been (training with heavyweights Andrei Arlovski and Alistair Overeem) and all these big guys my whole career and I’ve always done well.
“At 240 (pounds), I move just as fast as I do at light-heavyweight. My versatility, I realize, is not things most heavyweights would do – spinning things, flying knees. Things like that, I feel really good. I think the timing is gonna be really close. I wouldn’t be surprised if it happened in 2020.”
White’s take on the situation
So, ya. Due to Jones’ comments, some have wondered if we could see “Bones” at heavyweight before 2020 is up. But, in a recent interview White did with ESPN, he said this about subject (quote via MMA Mania):
“I don’t know about him going to heavyweight, I think he’s comfortable at light heavyweight, and every time that you think there’s not another challenger for Jon Jones, there’s another challenger for Jon Jones,” White said. “I don’t know, we’ll have to see how this thing plays out. He has to get through Dominick Reyes first before you even start thinking about heavyweight or anything else.”
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These comments are somewhat interesting, as it wasn’t that long ago that White was pushing for Jones to fight Daniel Cormier at heavyweight. Sure, that’s a unique situation and Cormier no longer holds the heavyweight belt. But, if Jones beats Reyes on February 8th, who could be next for him at 205? The winner of the February 15th bout between Corey Anderson and Jan Blachowicz? That seems likely, but after that, the options for Jones start to really drop off. Aleksandar Rakic and Johnny Walker were viewed as rising contenders who could face Jones in 2020, but both men are coming off losses.