Reigning UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones was paying careful attention to the UFC Jacksonville event last night on ESPN+, held inside VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.
That was to be expected, considering the No. 4 and No. 8-ranked fighters in his division were going head-to-head for a spot in the 205-pound title chase. But “Bones” was also keeping an eye on the heavyweight debut of former rival Ovince Saint Preux.
“Man, it was weird seeing OSP fight at heavyweight,” Jones wrote on Twitter. “Made it seem so much more real for me. Especially knowing he was at 240 lbs. With a little more cardio, he would’ve been [money]. I was visualizing myself as him that whole fight.”
Jones has long flirted with the idea of moving up to the heavyweight division, yet somehow the promotion was consistently able to provide a fresh contender at 205 pounds. It probably helped that “Bones” missed significant chunks of time from his multiple suspensions.
But no conversation about the land of big men would be complete without mentioning No. 1 contender and terrifying power puncher Francis Ngannou. “The Predator” was also online for last night’s “Sunshine State” extravaganza and had a few questions of his own.
“How real it seemed to you my friend?!” Ngannou asked.
“Seemed so real Francis, all that power means nothing when your haymakers are too slow,” Jones fired back. “I’m not most, my friend.”
“I feel like my talents are blessed by God,” Jones later told a fan. “I have no reason to doubt my chin or abilities.”
“If you guys think I wouldn’t take this fight you’re insane. I have absolutely nothing else to prove as a light heavyweight. I’d love that big money fight right around now. Send the deal.”
Ngannou remained silent following those responses.
As much as we’ve talked about a move to heavyweight, it’s unlikely Jones will abandon his weight class in 2020. Jan Blachowicz and Dominick Reyes have unfinished business with “Bones,” as does returning light heavyweight bruiser, Thiago Santos.
As for Ngannou, his focus remains on the winner of Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier.