When Jon Jones announced he’d be vacating his Light Heavyweight title to move up to Heavyweight, many pondered if “Bones” would be awarded an immediate shot at the 265-pound title or if he would have to win at least one tune-up fight before getting to the big dance.
After all, Dana White and Co. weren’t too eager to fork over the cash to book Jones versus Francis Ngannou, so one would assume trying to work out financial details on a 265-pound championship fight involving Jones would prove to be more taxing.
But it seems the promotion will likely go that route, as UFC President Dana White revealed during the “Contender Series” post-fight press conference that Jones’ body of work at 205 pounds — which includes remaining unbeaten and 11 title defenses — obviously warrants an immediate title shot in a new division.
He should, after all, be undefeated had it not been for a horrible call from White’s all-time least-favorite referee, Steve Mazzagatti, who disqualified “Bones” after he landed some 12-6 elbows on Matt Hamill way back in 2009.
“Of course,” White said about Jones fighting for the title straight away. “I mean realistically, Jon Jones is undefeated. He’s never been beat. Mazzagatti’s been out of the game for years. I don’t mean to keep beating this guy up, but you know, Jon Jones is undefeated.”
Current division champion, Stipe Miocic, and the aforementioned Ngannou are on a collision course to run it back sometime this year, which would give Jones enough time to put a little extra meat on his “Bones.” That means that he likely won’t be fighting for the title until 2021.
As far as the 205-pound weight class is concerned, Dominick Reyes and Jan Blachowicz are set to fight for the vacant strap at UFC 253 on Sept. 26, 2020.