Jon Bones Jones appears to be in a position to dominate the light heavyweight division for years. Starved for competition, Jones is moving closer to leaving the division entirely. The champ recently confirmed his plans to move to heavyweight, possibly as early as next year.
[adinserter block=”2″]The move to heavyweight for Jon Jones is not a big shock. Most suspected that he would eventually move divisions, and even Jones himself has openly talked about the move. Yet nobody expected that it could come this soon. Most predicted a few years, which is why the announcement comes as a bit of a stunner.
Jones made the announcement during a MetroPCS fan chat earlier in the week. Jones elaborated with specifics during the online chat.
“I’ll definitely move up to heavyweight But it’ll probably be around 2013. Maybe at the end of 2013. Right now I have a nutritionist and I’m starting to take the career a lot more serious than I used to so my weight cuts are getting a lot easier. I walk around a lot thinner naturally so right now I’m about 225, a 20 pound weight cut. That’s really easy. I might look bigger than everyone else I’m fighting but I’m really not.”
Jones has dominated the light heavyweight division in recent years with his only loss coming on a fluke DQ against Matt Hamill. Jones is expected to easily handle his next challenger Chael Sonnen in April. Jones has talked about wanting to fight Dan Henderson after that fight, but Henderson’s timetable for returning to action is still up in the air. If you were to look ahead in Jones’ crystal ball that would give him two title fights in 2013 and then he’d be done.
The timetable doesn’t make much sense given that Dana White guaranteed that Anderson Silva vs. Jon Jones would happen in that same chat. That fight would have to come after Jones vs. Sonnen or Jones would be leaving the megafight in the dust. There have also been rumblings about a Daniel Cormier vs. Jon Jones fight if Cormier’s AKA teammate Cain Velasquez defeats Junior Dos Santos to regain the heavyweight title. Additionally, there is also a potential Alexander Gusatafsson fight that could be intriguing. In other words, the timing just doesn’t make sense.
How well Jones would do at heavyweight? He has a decisive reach advantage over most of his opponents at light heavyweight. Jones loves to take his opponents down and slice them up with elbows. Would Jones be able to hold a heavyweight down long enough to open up with elbows? Would the advantage in reach really matter if he is outsized by a bigger heavyweight? These are fair questions to ask.
Lucky for Jones there isn’t a whole lot of elite talent at heavyweight. Once you move past Junior Dos Santos, Cain Velasquez, and Alistair Overeem you are stuck with retreads and a lot of guys who are good but not great. I think Cain would be Jones’ toughest competition but he’d certainly have a shot against him and everyone else.
[adinserter block=”1″]The move could work but is it in the best interest of the UFC? With several money fights left for Jones at light heavyweight, is it worth it for him to move to a division where he’ll probably get all of his money fights out of the way in about 16-24 months? Jon Jones loves to talk about what a great businessman he is. Moving to heavyweight in 2013 may not be that smart of a business move for the champ after all.
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