2020 was an odd year for the UFC. It started off completely normal with cards including the promotion’s top stars. During this normal stretch we got to see Jon Jones fight at UFC 247 in February where he defeated Dominick Reyes by unanimous decision. Then the pandemic hit, and sports as a whole shut down. We haven’t seen Jones fight since. No weird PPV’s at the UFC Apex or bouts at Fight Island in Abu Dhabi.Then there were the rumors of him bulking up to move up to the heavyweight division that were later confirmed by his instagram. So what’s next for Jon Jones?
If you follow the MMA press core you’ll see that MMA journalists love to ask other fighters their opinion on Jon Jones. Recently Israel Adesanya responded by saying “I don’t think we’re ever going to see Jon Jones fight at heavyweight,” he added “F*ck, he’s been saying this since 2013. You either get it done or you don’t.” Adesanya asked if he’d ever consider fighting Jones at 205 which he said he was considering at the tail end of his career if it was ever offered.
Adesanya who made the jump to Light Heavyweight in March went on to say “For me, I jumped up [a division] within three years of [being with] the company. I jumped into the division ahead of me. The guys up there respect me — even the champion up there gave me my props. So yeah, I just think it’s not something that anyone can do. And he’s getting fat for no reason now.” harsh words from the middleweight champion. But this verbal sparring just makes the question what is next for Jones even more interesting.
Dana White has offered Jones multiple different fights including former Heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic. Jones basically told the UFC he was not interested in fighting Stipe. White says he thinks Jones will fight again in 2022. Possibly against the winner of the title unification bout between current Heavyweight Champion, Francis Ngannou and Interim Champion, Ciryl Gane.
White and Jones went at each other exchanging verbal barbs when Ngannou first won the UFC Heavyweight title against Stipe Miocic in March of 2021 at UFC 260 implying that Jones was scared to face Ngannou at Heavyweight.
The truth remains to be seen, but hopefully Jones fights again soon. Jones is the Babe Ruth of MMA so it’d be good to see him add more fights to his resume. It would also be great to see him win a title at Heavyweight. You’d hate to see the greatest of all time suffer from the effects of ring rust.
Update 9/25: Jones was arrested hours after getting inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame. Jones 34, faces misdemeanor domestic battery and a felony vehicle damage charge. Jones has posted bail and will make a court appearance on October 26th.
UFC president Dana White said of the incident “It’s hard to bring this guy to Las Vegas for any reason. This city is not good for Jon Jones. And here we are again, It’s like it’s not even shocking anymore. When we bring him here, it’s almost expected. Can’t even get him into Las Vegas for less than 12 hours to induct him into the Hall of Fame. It’s a problem. This guy’s got a lot of demons, man – a lot of demons.”
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