For Jon Jones, the idea of moving up to heavyweight is alluring, but ahead of his UFC 239 title defense against Thiago Santos, he feels there’s still time.
“I am interested in fighting at heavyweight but I’m also aware that there’s a lot of work to be done in the light heavyweight division,” Jones said.
“There’s a lot of big fights that people want to see me have in the light heavyweight division so there’s really no need for me to go to heavyweight. I’m doing well where I’m at, I’m making weight really easily and I feel like when the UFC approaches me about a fight they feel will be a megafight and they come with the numbers that would make sense for me to do that, I’ll totally do it. But right now the UFC I think is happy with me being a dominant light heavyweight champion and like we said, there’s a lot of really great new challenges. So there’s a lot of work to be done where I’m at and it’s gonna take that checkbook for me to bounce up to heavyweight.”
While it seems both Jones and current UFC heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier will never square off for a third time, Jones does concede that the third fight would make a lot of fans happy.
“That would make the most sense,” Jones said. “There’s still a lot of interest in me fighting Daniel Cormier for some reason. I don’t really know what it is. The first time I won by unanimous decision and the second time I won by knockout so I don’t know why people want to see us fight again so bad but at heavyweight I guess that would add a few different factors. So yeah, if that’s the fight the world wants to see, I know one thing about the UFC, we give the fans what they want.”
And while the fan service may be welcomed from both fighters, it seems Cormier’s swan song is ahead at UFC 241, as he will defend the heavyweight title against former champion Stipe Miocic.
Jones also believes that a move up to heavyweight would be a disservice because there is new blood entering the Octagon at 205 pounds.
“I remember not too long ago people talking about me clearing out the division and that’s nothing I ever believed,” Jones said. “I don’t think it’s possible to clear out a division. There’s always gonna be new talent, new dreamers, new challengers and I look at them as my next round of motivation. These guys are all talented and I think it will be a good test for me to show how great I can be by continuing on my winning ways with this new fresh blood.”
Transcribed by MMA Fighting