Jon Jones is less than a year into his reign as UFC light heavyweight champion and he is already bored with the division. The champion recently revealed that the UFC brass shot down his request to fight at heavyweight in 2012.
The news broke on the MMA Hour earlier this week. Jones told the program that if he got through Rashad Evans and Dan Henderson that he wanted to fight at heavyweight later this year in what he described as a “fight for the fans.”
I think that is a pretty revealing statement to make at this stage of 2012. Jones hasn’t fought Evans or Henderson yet and is already looking ahead to his third fight of the year. In my early Jones vs. Evans prediction blog, I picked Evans. This only strengthens my choice. I think Jones is getting a little too caught up with himself and looking past dangerous fighters liker Evans and Henderson is a big red flag to me.
I also applaud Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta turning down Jones’ request. This isn’t to say that he shouldn’t be able to fight in both divisions down the line, but it is way too early. At a time when most UFC stars are winding down their careers, Jones is just getting started. Exposing him to another division could do serious damage to the young blue chipper if he wound up losing. Plus, what happens if he gets knocked out by someone like Overeem? Recovering from a KO at the hands of anyone is always a rough test. It could be physically devastating to someone as young as Jones to get knocked out cold by guys much bigger than him.
Now if Jones runs the table this year and half of next year, I’d seriously consider the Anderson Silva Super Fight. I am not a fan whatsoever of moving guys from division to division for Super Fights, but Silva has already fought several times at light heavyweight, and reportedly walks around anywhere between 200-220 pounds. This would be a much different situation than moving a guy like Georges St-Pierre up in weight for the first time in his career against a man who would be much bigger than him in Silva.
I can only imagine the big smiles this morning on the faces of Dan Henderson and Rashad Evans. Looking past your opponent is one thing. Looking past your next two is something fighters rarely speak about. This can only be good news for Jones’ next two challengers.
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