Jon Jones: Potential Next Opponents

Jon Jones
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 06: Jon Jones looks on following his win iver Thiago Santos of Brazil in their UFC light heavyweight championship fight during the UFC 239 event at T-Mobile Arena on July 6, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC)

Who is next for UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones?

Jon Jones remained on his throne with a split decision victory over Thiago Santos at UFC 239 just weeks ago. Although closer than many expected, Jones made good on his second title defense of the year. He isn’t done yet, though. Jones went to his social claiming he wants to fight before the year ends.

If that were true, the contenders of the light heavyweight division would need to get busy in the hopes of making themselves a clear cut title challenger. Many vied for a Santos rematch but with the injuries he sustained, he will be sidelined for the rest of 2019 and possibly beyond. There have been a few names floating around, some more appealing than others. Here is every viable option to be Jon Jones’ next opponent.

Winner of Daniel Cormier vs. Stipe Miocic

This would be something. Jones would have to leave the division he has dominated for so long and make a jump to heavyweight. Not out of the ordinary, but Jon Jones not fighting at 205 pounds is a fascinating concept.  Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic will rematch each other in August at UFC 241 for the heavyweight title. Cormier’s original plan was to retire on his 40th birthday in March, but now plans have deviated. He will fight Miocic and if he wins, both him and Jones have claimed that they would fight yet again if the money is right. Go to 8:37 in this video to get a better idea.

Now, Jones vs. Cormier 3 is hindering on a monumental roadblock (other than money); Can Cormier beat Miocic yet again? He is the favorite unlike the first go around. If Miocic can right his wrongs and get tback he belt that was once his, Miocic vs. Jones has interest. There was chatter back in March about a potential Miocic vs. Jones bout.

Only time will tell with this one.

Jan Blachowicz

After Jan Blachowicz knocked out Luke Rockhold at UFC 239, his stock enjoyed a pleasant rise. A rise that could result in him challenging for the light heavyweight belt. Opinions vary on Blachowicz being the next man to share the octagon with Jones. Some believe he does indeed deserve the title shot.

https://twitter.com/peteeer__/status/1147719362813542405?s=21

Others believe Blachowicz isn’t deserving of challenging for the 205 pound strap just yet.

If Blachowicz were to fight say Corey Anderson or Dominick Reyes and win, it would be hard to deny him as the next guy in line. Jones wants to fight in December, though, and it is highly unlikely that Blachowicz would be willing to fight twice before the year concludes. With no clear fight to make, Jan Blachowicz may be the one to receive the shot even if he does not fight before December.

Dominick Reyes

This one seems to be controversial. Reyes remains undefeated as a professional at 11-0. He won his last fight against Volkan Oezdemir at UFC London via split decision, but the consensus lies with it being scored incorrectly and that Oezdemir should’ve won. Similar to Blachowicz, many think Reyes needs another win before he fights for the title and a decisive one at that. If Reyes won a contender fight by decision, that would mark three straight decision wins which isn’t so appealing, so a finish win would all but earn him a crack at the title.

Corey Anderson

Rankings wise, this one is tough to justify. Anderson is currently ranked #8 in the light heavyweight division. Anderson has a single finish win in his last seven victories. He is riding a three fight win streak with victories over Patrick Cummins, Glover Teixeira, and Ilir Latifi. In my most humble opinion, in no world should that warrant a title fight. Now, if Anderson fought and beat a guy like Anthony Smith or Johnny Walker, then it’d be a different conversation. At this point, like so many other light heavyweights, Anderson needs a win against a top dog before he eyes up a title shot.

Israel Adesanya

Although unrealistic for December, this fight is more realistic than people think. Israel Adesanya and Jones are not the best of friends.

Obviously, Adesanya has his hands full with Robert Whittaker at UFC 243 for the middleweight unification title. If Adesanya beats Whittaker, it is just a matter of time until Jones and Adesanya share a dance. Dana White sure has shared some public interest in it.

Again, this is one that only time will tell, but man would this be fun.

Jones will have a fight booked sooner or later and the speculation can end once and for all once that happens. Until then, let the speculation immense!

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