As Stipe Miocic was being crowned the greatest heavyweight of all-time after beating Daniel Cormier for a second time, a new challenger emerged.
The consensus greatest mixed martial artist of all-time, Jon Jones was live tweeting the five round fight throughout and following the result he made it clear that he wanted a piece of the action.
Jones is the reigning light-heavyweight champion in the UFC, having first won the belt all the way back in 2011. He has a record of 26-1 and 1 no contest, but even that is exaggerated against him. The single defeat in his career came in a fight where Jones absolutely dominated Matt Hamill but after landing some 12-6 elbows, the referee disqualified him when Hamill refused to continue.
The no contest was a win that was overturned against Daniel Cormier, when he knocked Cormier out with a head kick and ground and pound but then failed a drugs test following the fight.
Having completely dominated the 205lbs division and cleaned out the competition, Jones has flirted with moving up to heavyweight for a while but it now seems more likely than ever before.
Dana White said following UFC 252 that Francis Ngannou would receive the next shot against Stipe for the belt but that Jones’ interest in moving to heavyweight was “interesting”. Miocic himself addressed the talk of a potential fight between him and Jones by saying he expected it to happen eventually and that he would have no issues fighting ‘Bones’.
Jones has been linked with a rematch against Dominick Reyes in his next bout, with many believing he actually lost the first match between the two. If Ngannou is to get the next title shot, then Jones fighting Reyes would make a lot of sense to get both men busy for one more bout before a potential meet in the fight that follows.
If there is an opportunity to make the Stipe vs Jones fight immediately though, I don’t think anyone not named Francis Ngannou would complain too much about it. There had been previous talk of Jones potentially moving up to take on Ngannou himself, something that ‘The Predator’ was open to. With Miocic likely to need some time off before taking a fight with either man, that’s definitely an option for the UFC to look at.
I don’t think there is a scenario where I pick against Jon Jones in an MMA fight but a move to heavyweight certainly opens up new conversations and scenarios that are all very, very exciting.