Jon Jones just got back, and he’s already talking about leaving again.
The former UFC light heavyweight champion and current heavyweight champion made it clear in an interview with FOX Sports Australia that he’s probably done with fighting after a rumored November bout against Stipe Miocic. Unless the UFC can manage to set up a Jones vs. Ngannou superfight, that is.
This caveat stuck out in Daniel Cormier’s mind when analyzing Jones’ statements on his ESPN+ show, DC & RC.
“For Jones, he’s still the best in the world,” Cormier said. “And as you said, he was excited about the idea of going to fight at heavyweight. It was a challenge and something that scared him. But do you think that maybe it was easier than he may have thought? He got through Ciryl Gane so easy. It’s like, ‘Well if this is what it is, where’s that challenge? Where’s that thing that scares me?’”
“That’s what Jones spoke about before the Cyril [Gane] fight. Being scared again, something that was dangerous. And maybe he doesn’t feel that. Maybe he doesn’t feel like that is going to be his every day at heavyweight. But I feel like I would like to see him continue to fight, I would like to see him fight guys like Sergei Pavlovich. I would like to see him in there with Stipe Miocic. And I do believe that there are some challenges for Jon Jones.”
While there may be some truth to Cormier’s statement, it’s worth noting that Jones was never planning on sticking around for long and taking on all comers at heavyweight.
Multiple teammates came out and said Jones had ‘maybe’ three fights left in him. He was clearly watching the No. 1 P4P rankings, and regularly participated in G.O.A.T. debates. It was always about becoming a two weight division champion, defeating the consensus best heavyweights out there, and then bouncing with his near-perfect fighting record intact.
He was never going to fight the Pavloviches or Aspinalls of the promotion. He had no problem walking away from his light heavyweight belt when that was all there was on offer at 205 pounds. And without Francis Ngannou, we don’t doubt he’ll do it again.