Widely regarded as the greatest mixed martial artist of all time, Jon Jones is aiming to achieve even greater heights as he gears up for his heavyweight debut. After dominating the UFC’s light-heavyweight division for more than a decade, Jon Jones has set his eyes on the heavyweight division and will look to further cement his legacy as the undisputed GOAT of the mixed martial arts career.
However, darkness looms around his heavyweight debut with no clear opponent in sight. While Jon Jones’s new manager Richard Schaefer is bound to put Jones’ in a better position than he has been with his previous management, anything is too early to predict.
Additionally, with the UFC going forward with Derrick Lewis vs Ciryl Gane for the interim heavyweight championship at UFC 265, it totally thwarts the possibility of watching Francis Ngannou defend his heavyweight title against Jon Jones in his first title defense.
Who is Jon Jones’s next opponent?
With Francis Ngannou definite to defend his heavyweight strap against the winner of Derrick Lewis vs Ciryl Gane, it’s safe to say that Jon Jones won’t be Ngannou’s first title defense. Additionally, in an ideal situation, if Ngannou makes his first title defense in December later this year, or early 2022, it won’t be wrong to assume that Jon Jones’ heavyweight debut could take some time.
Moreover, the presence of Stipe Miocic, who wants nothing but a rematch against Francis Ngannou next, could ruin Jones’ plan for a championship bout in his heavyweight debut. While a case can be made for Jon Jones vs Stipe Miocic next, it will be interesting to see whether both the fighters will agree to that fight considering both the athletes risk losing their potential title opportunity.
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Jones has already stated that he is in no rush to make his heavyweight debut, and has already confirmed that he has no desire to compete in 2021. The former light-heavyweight champion could be looking at waiting around for Francis Ngannou to make his first title defense, or whoever has the heavyweight title in 2022.
From the looks of it, it does point towards Jon Jones’ making his heavyweight debut with the championship belt on the line. So it’s unlikely for him to compete against a fighter other than the UFC’s heavyweight champion of the world.