Dana White Comments on Jon Jones Moving to HW, Title Shot Prospects
Jon Jones has announced he's making a move to heavyweight, and Dana White is open to have "Bones" fighting for the title in his next bout.
Jon Jones recently buzzed the MMA world by announcing he’s vacating the UFC’s light heavyweight title and he’s making the jump to heavyweight. Well, now Dana White’s confirmed that Jones’s run as the 205 champ is in fact done, and that “Bones” could fight for the heavyweight crown in his next outing.
White is open to Jones fighting for title, but not ahead of Francis Ngannou
Due to Jones’s big news, there’s been a lot of speculation about whether the storied fighter could leap right into a title fight with heavyweight champ, Stipe Miocic. White recently guaranteed that Ngannou is next in line for a title shot, and while talking to ESPN about Jones’s move, he repeated that’s the case (quotes via MMA Junkie).
“(Miocic vs. Ngannou) is definitely the fight that’s going to happen at heavyweight now,” White said. “Francis Ngannou had earned that title shot.
Then we’ll see what happens. We had a matchmaking meeting today. A lot of the top four or five guys are laid out for fights coming up in the fall.
We’ll see what Jon Jones’ timing is to come back and who makes sense for him.”
“… Listen, (Jones) is the longtime light heavyweight champion. In my opinion, he is the greatest of all time.
If he wants to come back and take a shot at the heavyweight championship, I wouldn’t have a problem with that. But he can’t jump in front of Francis Ngannou right now.”
There you have it and when you consider all the various factors here, this makes sense.
Ngannou has wrecked four straight opponents, and all in the opening round, so there’s no doubt he deserves a title shot. With Jones, you have one of the greatest fighters of all time, if not the greatest, and the UFC has a record of granting champions title shots in new divisions.
White says Jones is taking a break
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Another reason Ngannou isn’t going to be leaped over by Jones, however, is that White says “Bones” is taking some time off.
“Jon Jones is vacating the light heavyweight title,” White said. “Obviously, you can see he’s been tweeting.
He has an interest in fighting at heavyweight. He doesn’t know when. He doesn’t know who. I think he’s going to just take some time right now and do some of the things he wants to do outside of the octagon.
When the time is right, he’ll step in and possibly fight at heavyweight.”
So, it’s kind of interesting to see White saying Jones could “possibly” compete at heavyweight. As, Jones’s recent comments certainly seem to indicate that’s his plan.
Then again, there’s always a chance Jones could change his mind? If say, Dominick Reyes wins the light heavyweight belt and scores some more impressive wins? Calls for a rematch with Jones?