Jon Jones’ flirtations with moving to the UFC heavyweight division have become increasingly serious, leading the light heavyweight champion to declare in December there was a “very strong possibility” he jump in weight in 2020. With, he is already thinking about adding the heavyweight prize to his collection.
Speaking with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, Jones said he would want to jump directly into a fight against reigning heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic, brushing off the idea of needing a tune-up fight beforehand. Jones also pointed to his performances against Daniel Cormier in comparison to Miocic. Miocic lost his first meeting to Cormier by knockout, but came back to score a knockout of his own in a highly-competitive rematch to regain the heavyweight title. Jones, meanwhile, defeated Cormier in their first meeting before knocking him out in the highly-anticipated rematch, a result which was overturned due to a failed Jones drug test.
“I feel like I could totally beat him, just based on his performances with DC, our speed differences, my fight IQ, my versatility, my faith and confidence,” Jones said. “I think I’m the guy to beat him, for sure. And I want to strike while I’m feeling hot … I don’t think I would need a tune-up. I’m pretty tuned up. I’m pretty in-tune. I feel great, I feel strong already.”
Miocic has been out of action since the Cormier rematch, having to undergo surgery on his eye following pokes he endured during the contest. While the UFC has been pushing for a trilogy fight between the two — andis the only thing that will ever get him back in the Octagon — Miocic and his camp have recently expressed their desire to face new challenges.
Jones also told ESPN his plan would involve moving back to light heavyweight after fighting Miocic at a “lean 230.” Other future opponents he brought up included Corey Anderson and Johnny Walker, while brushing off the talk of a champion vs. champion fight happening opposite middleweight titleholder Israel Adesanya.