clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Midnight Mania! Islam Makhachev calls BS on pound-for-pound king Jon Jones: ‘How Jon Jones can be No. 1?’

Bringing you the weird and wild from the world of MMA each and every weeknight!

UFC 284: Makhachev v Volkanovski Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

For the second time, there’s a pound-for-pound debate centered around Jon Jones and one of the sport’s elite Dagestani fighters.

Back in October 2020, Khabib Nurmagomedov retired on top, smoking Justin Gaethje before riding off into the sunset (despite Dana White’s protests). Prior to leaving the sport for good, Nurmagomedov publicly asked for status as the pound-for-pound king on UFC rankings. The media granted his request, much to Jones’ chagrin.

Three years later, “Bones” has returned the favor, skipping back to the top of that list when he easily submitted Ciryl Gane at UFC 285. Islam Makhachev, current UFC Lightweight champion and longtime Nurmagomedov team mate, was in contention for that ranking as well, and he doesn’t seem as impressed with the “Bones” Heavyweight return.

“This is bulls—t, brother,” Makhachev told Daniel Cormier on his YouTube channel (via MMAJunkie). “How Jon Jones can be No. 1? He beat some guy who is not champion. This guy (Gane) don’t have belt, and they put him No. 1 pound-for-pound. This is bulls—t. … Doesn’t matter how he beat him. The UFC put him best pound-for-pound. But other people who know about MMA, they know who is the best fighter in the world. Don’t call me lightweight champion. Call me pound-for-pound best fighter.”

Of course, there’s one way Makhachev can really separate himself from the pack. After repelling Alexander Volkanovski’s attempt to claim double champion status at UFC 284, Makhachev has been targeting Welterweight gold and his own opportunity. In the same interview, he expressed confidence in the potential battle vs. current 170-pound kingpin Leon Edwards.

“This is my dream, and I’m sure I can be double champion,” Makhachev said. “I can beat Leon Edwards. He showed good (takedown) defense. With me it’s gonna be different. I can strike with him, I can grapple with him, wrestling. Anywhere I can beat this guy. Just give me one chance, and that’s it. Maybe after I win a second belt, they’re gonna put me best pound-for-pound.”

Currently, neither Jones nor Makhachev are booked to fight. Jones is expected to face Stipe Miocic at some point later this year, whereas Makhachev could be rematching Charles Oliveira next in Abu Dhabi.


Jorge Masvidal has been on the giving and receiving end of all three of these (potentially) fight-ending sequences.

An accidental self-own (basically, same team/best friends) from the Lightweight champion:

I loved Charles Oliveira embracing the cross-kick combo against an opposite stance fighter.

From my experience, I would expect most UFC Lightweights to be roughly 170-175 pounds on fight night and 180-190 outside of fight camp.

One more Chandler post — did Michael Chandler do something wrong here by acknowledging that his “veteran” fighter is younger than the “prospect?”

Can Francis Marshall return to the win column after his first career loss to William Gomis?

An instantly iconic impersonation.

Slips, rips, and KO clips

Obviously this is a disqualification, but ... I get it. I predict the rematch to be emotionally charged!

Car jitsu ranks highly among the dumbest novelty combat sports.

There are countless great Nak Muay that most of us know little-to-nothing about. Here’s one:

Random Land

Sites of some classic album covers:

Midnight Music: 1970, reggae

Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania