After Jon Jones returned from his second USADA suspension, he made it a point to keep a busy schedule. He knocked out three fights in just seven months, and probably would have added a fourth by the end of 2019 had there been any contenders worthy of fighting him.
Unfortunately, Jones’ desire to make up for lost time and money burned through the supply of seasoned light heavyweight competition. We’re just getting to a point where the next generation of 205ers are almost ready: guys like Dominick Reyes and Johnny Walker.
Reyes staked his claim to the #1 contender spot by knocking out Chris Weidman on Friday night at UFC Boston (watch the finish here), but while “The Devastator” clearly thinks he deserves a title shot right away, Jon Jones and his management team don’t sound so hot on the idea.
Here’s what “Bones” and his manager were saying on Twitter following the UFC on ESPN 6 event in Boston.
Many have talk shit, all have fallen. You will do the same— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) October 19, 2019
I should just wait for the winner of DC and Stipe? Let these light heavies figure out who’s going to present the best challenge https://t.co/PfTK5LxrJN— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) October 19, 2019
Probably going to need a few months to pack on some muscle anyway— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) October 19, 2019
Reyes is 1-1 in his last 2 i believe. Reyes needs another win first. The W against volkan is ehhhhh most people thought he lost that one.— Ibrahim Kawa (@Abraham_kawa) October 19, 2019
The long and short of it: Reyes will get his ... when the time is right. For now, Jones doesn’t consider Reyes fully cooked as an opponent, and we’d have to agree with that assessment: his win over Chris Weidman makes him an acceptable opponent, but by no means a Big Deal. You know, the kind of Big Deal that will help refill Jon’s coffers after he reportedly had to shell out over a million dollars in back taxes.
Maybe we’re being overly optimistic, but all that tax stuff has us hopeful that Jones could finally be ready to make the long anticipated jump to heavyweight. Running out of bankable opponents at light heavyweight probably helps too, but Jones has made it clear that the UFC needs to show him the money if they want him to move up. Until then, a steady diet of guys like Reyes sounds acceptable to him as well.