Jon Jones revealed to the world via Twitter that he will be making a ‘big fight announcement’ soon so with that in mind, we’re going to take a look at the opponents who could potentially fit such a billing.
UFC president Dana White spoke to the media in the wake of last weekend’s UFC 242 and explained how Jan Blachowicz, in his eyes, is the rightful contender to the 205lb throne.
With that being said, he seemed to indicate that the fight was not yet signed or they had been unable to make the deal work.
I don’t believe that this rules out Blachowicz, though, and to be honest, he is by far and away the most-likely candidate out of all of the names I’m about to run through.
Jones’ tweet seemed to hint that the fight in question would be a big one – but in all honesty, although fan reaction to a fight with Jan would be tame to a certain extent, I don’t think there’s anything in his tweet that rules it out.
Buckle your seatbelt my friends, Big fiight announcement coming soon https://t.co/6cDNQ6XChL
— BONY (@JonnyBones) September 9, 2019
One would have to assume that UFC 245 will be the next event that could realistically house this matchup.
But with two title-fights already atop that billing, perhaps the end-of-year or early January show (likely UFC 246) is more probable.
Dana White has already made it clear that UFC 244 in Madison Square Garden will be headlined by Jorge Masvidal vs. Nate Diaz and that he is not willing to place a title-fight below that five-rounder.
So if we’re to assume that Jones will return at UFC 246 and for a moment say that Jan Blachowicz is not the man to face him, only a few viable candidates remain.
A heavyweight clash with the divisional king Stipe Miocic is not entirely out of the question. I don’t think that Jon would take that fight unless the money was right but after watching the success his rival Daniel Cormier was able to have against him at UFC 241, perhaps he likes his chances at earning a second belt.
There will always be talk of Jones taking on the WWE superstar Brock Lesnar but it has become pretty clear that there is very little fire behind this smoke.
Lesnar, who is now 42, is completely out of practice – having fought once in the last eight years. Sure, the entire saga is good for him and his overall level of exposure, but I do believe that Brock realised very quickly that a return to the highest level is completely unrealistic at this point – something that led to his proposed showdown with Cormier fizzling out.
On the subject of Daniel Cormier, I think it’s fair to rule him out based both on how recent his brutal defeat at the Miocic was and the uncertainty that surrounds his career at this point.
Divisional debutant Chris Weidman is the type of marquee name that would attract eyes but makes absolutely no sense given that he has yet to register a win or even compete at 205lbs.
He will take on #4-ranked Dominick Reyes in October in a fight that could well single out one of them for a title-shot.
Thiago Santos is injured, Johnny Walker and Corey Anderson are booked for UFC 244, and Anthony Smith simply hasn’t done enough to warrant having another crack at Jon – despite defeating the now-semi-retired Alexander Gustafsson in Stockholm earlier this year.
All in all, unless Jones is hoping to debut at heavyweight against the champ or a top-contender, it’s going to be Jan Blachowicz.
There is something of a shortage of free and viable names at 205lbs right now and while the pressure will be on Bones at some point to make the move up in weight, I just don’t think that the time is right just yet.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena