UFC president Dana White isn’t open to current light-heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones fighting in the heavyweight division this year, but he is open to the possibility down the road.
“I’m not really interested in him [Jones] fighting at heavyweight this year,” White told reporters at the UFC 143 pre-fight press conference. “He’s at 205; there are still guys there to fight. He’s very young… It’s going to happen eventually, but I don’t think it’ll be happening this year,”
Jones recently talked about moving up to the heavyweight division, and the UFC’s youngest champion seems confident he’ll be able to hold his own against the UFC’s top heavyweights.
“I actually asked Dana and Lorenzo, could I take a fight [in the heavyweight division] for the fans at the end of 2012,” Jones said. “I figured beating Henderson and Rashad, there would be a period where we’d figure out who I’m going to fight next, and during that period, at the end of 2012, I asked to fight a Heavyweight, a Top 10 Heavyweight. Dana and Lorenzo didn’t think that was the best [move] for me to do right now. They wanted me to continue at the Light Heavyweight division. … They said they didn’t want that for me.”
Jones made climbing up the UFC’s light-heavyweight ladder look easy, manhandling all opponents on his way to the division’s title. Jones’ fight against Lyoto Machida exposed a few flaws in his striking, but the way he handled adversity during the fight was pretty impressive.
I certainly see Jones running through the entire UFC light-heavyweight division, and it’ll be interesting to see how he does in the heavyweight division.
Jones currently walks about at around 220 pounds, so he’ll need to do some serious bulking up before bumping heads with the UFC’s top heavyweights.
Still, it’s definitely nice to see another UFC champion that’s willing to put his record on the line, and go after tougher challenges.