Former two-time light heavyweight king Jon Jones has signalled a return to competition at UFC 282. Arguably the pound-for-pound greatest of all time, Jones has been planning a move to heavyweight since his last bout at UFC 247, where he secured a unanimous decision win over Dominick Reyes.
Since then, Jones has voiced his displeasure with the terms of his contract moving forward, eventually bringing the issue to social media. The disagreement saw the champion relinquish his undisputed crown and commit to a divisional leap. With a commitment to a strict training regiment and contract negotiations fallout, the ex-champion found himself sidelined for two years in anticipation of a super fight with heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou.
Super fight for Jon Jones
Since then, Jones has been looking to justify a payout increase. In that, he’s set his sights on heavyweight Kingpin Francis Ngannou. Undefeated in his last six fights, Ngannou has been an absolute powerhouse within the heavyweight division. Boasting a 17-3 record with sixteen by way of finish, Ngannou has lived up to his nickname of “The Predator”.
In his recent run, Ngannou managed to grab gold from the all-time greatest heavyweight to date, Stipe Miocic, in a brutal knockout finish and then defended the title against former teammate Ciryl Gane in a dominating unanimous decision victory. Being the heavyweight king comes with the label “baddest man on the planet”, a perfect target for anyone looking to build a legacy.
Resume for Greatest of All Time
Boasting a 26-1 professional MMA record on an 18-fight unbeaten streak, Jon Jones may have the greatest resume of all time. Becoming the UFC’s youngest champion at just 23, his reign saw him destroy nearly every light heavyweight great. With vitories over former champions Mauricio Rua, Quinton Jackson, Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans, Vitor Belfort, Daniel Cormier and Glover Teixeira.
It’s hard to argue against any challenge Jones may desire. His only loss comes from an illegal downward elbow against Matt Hamill that most people disagree should even be banned from the sport. The unfortunate decision has left a blemish on Jones’s nearly spotless and deep record. Since then, Jones has been nothing short of dominant. Outside of suspension issues, Jones has crushed every opponent put in front of him since.
Potential Interim Championship Matchup
Wanting a dominant title win in his entry to the heavyweight division, Jones hinted at an interim matchup with Stipe Miocic while the champion is sidelined. Miocic, the former 2-time heavyweight champion, carries the longest UFC heavyweight defence record in his first reign with three straight defences. He also has the most heavyweight title fight wins at six with four total defences. Miocic is regarded as the greatest heavyweight of all time due to his domination of the division in recent years.
Ngannou’s win over Stipe was not only one of glory and gold but also of revenge. Stipe bested Francis at UFC 220 in a dominant 5-round decision before they rematched at UFC 260, where Francis turned the tables and knocked Miocic out. Despite the loss, Miocic carries an impressive 20-4 record with wins over some of the heavyweight’s greatest contenders. Included in his resume are Roy Nelson, Mark Hunt, Andrei Arlovski, Fabrício Wedum, Alistair Overeem, Junior dos Santos, Francis Ngannou and two victories of the former double champ Daniel Cormier.
Who do you think Jones will meet at UFC 282 in December? Will it be for a title or a challenger match-up with Miocic? Comment below!
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