Jon Jones’ last three fights occurred over the span of 2.5 years because of multiple drug-related suspensions and out-of-cage transgressions that have slowed down the mixed martial arts (MMA) career of one of the best to ever do it.
His next three fights, though, will occur in the span of 12 months, as “Bones” claims he intends to give the fans what they deserve and compete three times in 2019. After reclaiming the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight title by knocking out Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 232 on Sat., Dec, 29, 2018 (see it), Jones reflected on the victory and proclaimed it’s full speed ahead this time around.
Barring any setbacks, of course.
When the tides shift in your life you not only take notice, but follow where the momentum is taking you. My family and I came to Santa Monica after the fights to unwind, unplug and put the focus on those beautiful things that matter most in my life. I also ate a lot of chocolate cake but don’t knock my hustle because I earned that shit! But on the real, over last few days something profound registered in me. In my heart and mind there has been a shift and it’s a hunger that’s raging. In the past I would fight then shut everything down while I filled my schedule with partying and nonsense, but in the aftermath of reclaiming my belt the only thing I want to do is get back in there. I want to step back into the cage and continue to prove why I’m the best light heavyweight in the world. I’m flying home tonight and heading right back to the gym to continue building my skillset. I’m going to get with my team and keep the cerebral game rolling as well. I’m mapping out the year ahead and I’m absolutely going to kick the shit out of 2019. I want to fight 3 times this year and leave zero doubt of my dominance as a champion. I’m going to do this because that’s what my passion dictates, but it’s also what you fans deserve. You’ve been down with me through thick and thin, and 2019 is going to be incredible. It’s all due to the fact I know what matters and why. So to those fighters in my division go ahead and line up because you’re all getting it. The King has returned and no one is sleeping easy but me now that I’m back. Same crown same reign new faces more pain. That’s what I’m bringing in 19.
Jones’ convincing win over Gustafsson now puts an end to that rivalry, as “Bones” is now 2-0 over “The Mauler,” having defeated him five years ago in an epic showdown. With Daniel Cormier not 100 percent sold on a trilogy fight at the moment, Jones will have to look elsewhere for a dance partner.
But, he doesn’t have to look too far, as there are already several contenders ready to give it their best shot to hand Jones the first true loss of his MMA career. Among them are Anthony Smith and Corey Anderson, both of whom have made their cases to get the next championship fight.
If “Bones” keeps true to his word and ends up competing three times this year and proves victorious each time out, he could run out of 205-pound contenders to face. That means a jump up to Heavyweight could be expedited.