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What's going on with Jon Jones

Ben Knape

Jon Jones. Love him or hate him, there's no doubt he’s one of the greatest fighters in history. But as of recently, fans and fighters alike haven’t had many reminders as to why Jon is one of the greatest to ever do it; in fact his past two title defenses have been some of the smallest names he’s fought since he first claimed the belt way back in 2011.

Let’s take a look at the current state of the light heavyweight division. Daniel Cormier is really the only household name in the weight class right now, but he’s been focused on the heavyweight division, and will likely be fighting Stipe Miocic for a third time sometime in 2020. Thiago Santos is the current number two contender in the division, but Jon just beat him back in July via split decision.

Next in the rankings is Anthony Smith, but Jon beat him just before Santos so that isn’t the fight to make either. The strongest claim for a title shot in the division right now goes to Dominick Reyes, who comes off a strong first round knockout win against Chris Weidman this past weekend and boasting an undefeated record of 12-0.

I actually would really like to see a fight between Reyes and Jones. Reyes has a ton of talent and a lot of knockout power and if anyone in that division deserves the title shot, it’s him. Through twelve fights he has an impressive 58% finish rate. That means that he’s TKO/KO’d over half of his opponents, making his hands some of the most deadly in the 205 pound division. The problem with this matchup is Jon just doesn’t want it. On Tuesday he tweeted, “Really not sure when I’ll be fighting next, feel like I have nothing to gain by beating Dominick. I’ve actually felt that way about my last two opponents. I want a super fight.”

Ok, Jon wants a super fight. That sounds fantastic and I think he deserves one. Aside from Conor McGregor, Jon Jones is the most well known fighter in MMA. He’s gonna bring in millions of dollars, lots of new fans, and, most importantly, he puts on amazing fights. And while I respect Dominick Reyes’ strong claim to a title shot, I also respect that Jon is gunning for a big fight. His past two really haven’t done much legacy wise other than add tallies to his title defenses.

So if Jon were to get a super fight who would it be against? Well, Jon seems interested in the winner of Stipe vs. Cormier 3, as he tweeted on October 19, “I should just wait for the winner of DC and Stipe? Let these light heavies figure out who’s going to present the best challenge.”

I like that idea for Jon, he’s been speculating about moving up to heavyweight for a while now and there’s not much of a better opponent for him than the heavyweight champ. But again, there’s a problem here too. DC and Stipe haven’t even set a date yet, and more than likely their third fight will be in 2020. Then take into account the amount of time they need to recover from that fight AND train to fight the greatest of all time in Jon Jones. That’d leave Jon out of the octagon until mid to late 2020, and there’s no better way to piss off everyone in your division than not defending the belt and waiting that long for a fight in another weight class.

So I’ll leave it at this: Jon Jones should defend the light heavyweight belt one more time, giving Dominick Reyes the opportunity that he’s earned, and then he gets the super fight and the massive payday. While Reyes might not do anything for Jon’s legacy at this point, getting a win over him would put Jon in the position to fight anyone he wants.

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