After submitting Dan Henderson with an arm-triangle at Submission Underground 2 earlier this month, former UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones challenged old foe Chael Sonnen, the promoter of the event, to a grappling match.
It seemed like a set up and Sonnen appeared to accept the challenge on the spot, saying, “I will see you January 29th.”
However, Sonnen has since said that he will not be taking on the suspended MMA star in January, adding that a match-up between Jones and former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold, who called out ‘Bones on Twitter, is more likely.
— Luke Rockhold (@LukeRockhold) December 12, 2016
But if Sonnen can’t get that super-fight of sorts done, there are plenty of other big name fighters out there seemingly willing to step in and face Jones at SUG 3.
Former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir, who is also serving a suspension for a failed drug test, recently revealed that he is interested in the showdown.
Mir, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, said that he had been under the impression that said suspension prohibited him from competing in such grappling events, but Jones’ battle with Henderson opened his eyes.
“Jon and I are friends and stuff so to compete against him would be fun,” Mir told FloCombat.
Former UFC welterweight title challenger and accomplished competition grappler Jake Shields has also expressed an interest in facing the one-time pound for pound king of MMA. One couldn’t really brand it a ‘call out’ however, due to the respectful nature of the language used.
I would love the honor to compete against you!
— Jake Shields (@jakeshieldsajj) December 19, 2016
Some real sharks of the submission game are also circling.
Garry Tonon, who has won Eddie Bravo Invitational titles in three weight-classes and is widely considered to be one of the most dangerous grapplers on the planet, also voiced his interest on social media.
— Garry Tonon (@Garry_Tonon) December 19, 2016
Accepting a bout with somebody like Tonon would be a really daring move from Jones.
Another grappling specialist also tweeted at Jones. Dillon Danis, famous for his role in the Conor McGregor camp and his double gold-winning exploits at this year’s No-Gi Pan Ams, took a leaf from his ‘Notorious’ training partners book, instructing Jones to “beg” him for a bout.
— Dillon Danis (@dillondanis) December 19, 2016
There are interesting times ahead for Jones, Sonnen and SUG.