With another impressive victory in the bag in the form of defeating Chael Sonnen last weekend (April 14, 2013) at UFC 159 in Newark, New Jersey, Jon Jones joined some very elite company in the world of mixed martial arts (MMA).
"Bones" not only equaled former division kingpin Tito Ortiz's title defense record with five straight, he also tied former 205-pound title holder Chuck Liddell's nine finishes in the division. In the minds of many, Jones may have also catapulted himself ahead of middleweight champion Anderson Silva in the pound-for-pound rankings.
But that's an entirely different debate.
And while Jones faces a much-needed break ahead of him after suffering a gruesome toe injury, he has plenty of time to ponder his next move.
He has the choice of giving Lyoto Machida his much-desired rematch, but that doesn't seem likely seeing as how Jones expressed interest in taking on some new blood in the form of Alexander Gustafsson.
Unless "The Dragon" and "The Mauler" fight one another to settle that debate once and for all.
According to Jon's head trainer, Greg Jackson, it doesn't matter who's next, they are willing to take on any and all comers as long as there is enough time to prepare, as he revealed during a recent appearance on "The MMA Hour:"
"It doesn't matter to me. It's whatever the UFC says. As long as we have enough time to prepare, we're going to have to fight them all anyway. We're going to have to fight Machida again, we're going to have to fight Gustafsson, whoever else they put in front of us. It's just a matter of who's next. But I never want to be like, 'Oh, no, avoid this guy' or 'fight this guy.' When you're the champion, you really have to take on, that's part of being the champion; whoever they say you have to fight, you have to fight. People might not think that makes sense because we said we don't want to take a new fight on short notice. But, that's a whole different animal. It's not that we were avoiding the opponent, we were avoiding the situation. We want to make sure we were well-prepared. This is a world title in a sport that I think is the best in the world by far, and I want to take that seriously."
Team Jones was the recipient of heavy criticism when they opted to pass on facing Chael Sonnen on a week's notice last year at UFC 151 in an effort to save the drowning event; however, according to Jackson, it's all about timing, not so much the opponent.
"Bones" sure proved that theory right last weekend at "The Rock."
And while there isn't a shortage of challenges ahead for the dominant champion, should Jones defeat Machida (again), best the towering Swede Gustafsson or manage to trump "The Spider" should they ever meet, what would be next for "Bones?"