Jon Jones and Dominic Reyes had a closely contested fight at UFC 247. That leads us to the question, what’s next for Jon Jones?
We’ve put together a list of possibilities. We’ve also included the odds that this fight will happen, courtesy of BetOnline.ag.
Corey Anderson faces Jan Blachowicz this weekend. The fight has title implications. Corey Anderson is coming off a big win against Johnny Walker at UFC 244. He’s known primarily as a wrestler, but dispatched Walker with heavy hands.
Anderson has been angling for a fight with Jones even going so far as to confront him in public and call him “soft as baby s**t”. However, before Corey Anderson gets to face Jones he will first have to deal with the Polish threat Jan this weekend.
Jan Blachowicz has his eyes set on the prize, just like many others in the light heavyweight division. Blachowicz knocked out former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold, in Rockhold’s touted light heavyweight debut. Jan used a perfect left hook to do the job. He has won 6 of his last 7 fights. The Pole is not as loud on the mic as many others but has a work ethic which is admirable.
If he can beat fellow contender Corey Anderson this weekend, Blachowicz’s claim to the next title shot will be significantly strengthened.
Dominic Reyes exceeded expectations at UFC 247. He beat the champion in the eyes of many fans. So much has been said about the judges in the aftermath of UFC 247. Reyes may be an uncrowned, unbelted champion. The fight was also a very competitive one.
Reyes largely outstruck Jones in the first half of the fight. He landed his trademark left hand early in the first round. He landed kicks and strikes from unexpected angles. The fans look like they’re going to hold on to this one. That alone might warrant a rematch. It’s a fight everyone will be excited to see.
When Stipe Miocic regained heavyweight gold at UFC 241, Jones posted a video. In the video, he simply said, “Stipe is the greatest heavyweight of all time”. Then during the buildup to UFC 247, Jones revealed that a super fight with Stipe was considered. Nothing came of it. The fight was shelved when the UFC contemplated a fight between Stipe and Daniel Cormier.
However, Stipe appears to be out of action with injuries and the fight with Cormier is far from official. If Cormier retires or opts for a different fight, Jones might finally step-up for the super fight at heavyweight. That would put him in line for the coveted double champ status.
Much has been said about the rivalry between Jones and Cormier. Both men are supremely accomplished. Both despise the other. They’ve squabbled on Twitter, yapped at press conferences, and scrapped during face-offs. And they’ve even been caught on a hot mic yelling death threats and obscenities.
While Cormier likely has only a single fight left in his career, the unfinished business between the two may just make this fight more compelling than the currently contemplated rubber match with Stipe.
Ngannou has been on a path of destruction. Aside from a loss to Stipe Miocic and a poor showing against Derrick Lewis, the predator has been putting people to sleep violently. Many fans expect Ngannou to hold the heavyweight strap before the close of 2020.
The UFC has in recent times booked Jones against heavy hitters. The names of Smith, Santos and Reyes come to mind. Ngannou hits harder than all of them. It’ll be an interesting match-up, to say the least, if this is next for Jon Jones.
Israel Adesanya is one of the fastest-growing superstars in the sport. He also has a knack for predicting his future. He predicted the timeline within which he would face-off against former champion Robert Whittaker. The Stylebender has eyed Jon Jones for a while. His official prediction is “2021, Raiders Stadium”.
However, the anime-loving middleweight champion has to first deal with Yoel Romero. If he does get through the heavily muscled soldier of god at UFC 248, the UFC may accelerate that timeline. We may get to see the two superstars face-off this year instead of next.
Brock Lesnar has not fought since UFC 200. He has not won a fight since UFC 116 in 2010. Yet, his name keeps rising to the surface when it comes to big fights. When Daniel Cormier made history at UFC 226, he called out Brock Lesnar. It’s therefore not beyond the realm of possibility that Brock receives a shot against another big name.
However, the long leave of absence does in fact make Brock unlikely to be next for Jon Jones.