The war of words between Jon Jones and Cain Velasquez has officially begun.
In the lead up to his return to the Octagon this weekend against Francis Ngannou at UFC on ESPN 1, former UFC heavyweight champion, Velasquez, was asked about a potential showdown with current light heavyweight king, Jones. Velasquez, who has been a long-time teammate of Jones’ arch rival, current UFC heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, explained his confidence in a matchup with “Bones.”
“I think I could. I think I’m good enough,” Velasquez told TMZ Sports earlier this week. “Jon Jones, he’s an amazing athlete. I’ve watched him in all his fights. I know what he’s capable of. Again, every guy poses a great challenge. I think he does, as well. I think I could beat him.”
Jones, who is coming off a TKO win over Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 232 and a highly-publicized battle with leftover picograms, didn’t take too kindly to Velasquez’s assessment, posting the following response to his Instagram account late Friday night (Feb. 15, 2019):
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Your confidence is going to have to be on lock in order to beat me my guy. Can’t be talking about “I think I can.” I feed off picograms of self-doubt, and I can smell it from miles away. For now let’s just focus on the fights ahead of us. My heavyweight days are inevitable.
“Your confidence is going to have to be on lock in order to beat me my guy,” wrote Jones. “Can’t be talking about “I think I can.” I feed off picograms of self-doubt, and I can smell it from miles away. For now let’s just focus on the fights ahead of us. My heavyweight days are inevitable.”
We all knew this was coming. Ever since Jones marked his return to the Octagon and Velasquez scheduled his, fight fans understood that a massive heavyweight clash between the two could happen in the near future. After all, Velasquez is widely regarded as one of the best heavyweights of all time, Jones has long wanted to test his skills a division up, and Jones’ history with Cormier only adds to the potential feud between the two.
But like Jones said, both fighters need to take care of business their next time out before talking about a future pairing. Velasquez will re-enter the Octagon for the first time in well over two years to face Ngannou this weekend on ESPN. As for Jones, he’ll defend his light heavyweight title next month at UFC 235 against surging contender Anthony Smith.
If both can handle business, and Cormier’s heavyweight title remains on ice, maybe a matchup could be in the books for this summer.