Jon Jones’ long-awaited move to heavyweight finally looks to be on the cards as the reigning UFC light heavyweight champion responded positively to reports linking him to a bout with former heavyweight king Stipe Miocic.
Jones, arguably the greatest talent to have ever competed in mixed martial arts, has had an unprecedented era of dominance since debuting the UFC just months removed from his first professional fight.
Soon after he became the youngest UFC champion in history when he defeated Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua for the 205lb title in March 2011, and since then it seems as if the only thing able to stop his success in the cage was his own personal transgressions outside of it.
Now two fights and two wins into his return (and with all the talk of ‘picograms’ quickly becoming an afterthought) Jones, who has thus far resisted any urge to move north to the heavyweight division, appears for the first time ready and willing to do just that.
Speaking on his YouTube channel and citing ESPN’s Ariel Helwani as his source, MMA fighter & analyst Chael Sonnen said that advanced negotiations are underway for a fight between Jones and the most successful heavyweight champion in UFC history, Stipe Miocic.
“When Ariel says that he is ‘hearing talks’, Ariel knows. Ariel is a journalist – he does not speculate, he says I’m hearing that both parties have agreed – or that both parties are interested rather,” Sonnen said.
“Now listen to this one. Listen to what Ariel said. Jon Jones, at heavyweight, versus – and I know you’re all going to think I’ll say Daniel Cormier or Brock Lesnar, I’m not. Jon Jones versus Stipe Miocic. Woah! That got my attention. Really?”
And, as per Jones on social media, he certainly appears interested.
Miocic has been out of action since losing the heavyweight title to Jones’ rival Daniel Cormier last July. Prior to that, his three successful title defenses made him the most successful champion in the division’s history.
Should this deal come to pass, UFC 239 in Las Vegas on July 6 is the likely date and location for what would be one of the year’s biggest fights.