UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones will be meeting either Lyoto Machida or Quinton “Rampage” Jackson in his next fight inside the Octagon. Jones was originally set to meet Rashad Evans in what quickly became a grudge match between former teammates. During an interview with SportsRadioInterviews.com, Jones revealed his current options:
“I had to postpone my first title defense against Rashad Evans due to some torn tissues in my thumb. My last doctor’s appointment they told me I should be able to get back to full out training within the next month. I’m excited about that. I’m expected to compete against Lyoto Machida or Rampage Jackson in maybe October, mid-October.”
Personally, I’m excited the new UFC light-heavyweight champion will be able to defend his title later in the year. Both Rampage and Machida are former champions seeking to reclaim the title that was once theirs. Each MMA fighter brings a different set of skills to the table, and neither would be considered an easy matchup for anyone.
Machida is a technically solid striker who might be able give Jones a hard time standing up, while Rampage’s heavy hands pack enough power to put even Superman to sleep. Some MMA fans feel Jones’ reign will be short like many of the light-heavyweight division’s recent champions, but I just can’t see him losing the title anytime soon.
Many MMA fans don’t even realize Jones has only been fighting for three years. In only 14 fights, he went through the small shows, earned himself a title shot, and became the UFC’s youngest champion; yet some still think he’s just another MMA fighter. Jones’ striking continues to improve and he has already proven himself as one of the best wrestlers in the sport.
I’ve followed MMA for quite some time and can’t think of anyone who has accomplished anything close to Jon Jones in such a short amount of time, not even the sport’s pound-for-pound best fighter Anderson Silva. Regardless of which MMA fighter Jones ends up facing next, he should be able to successfully defend his light-heavyweight belt for the very first time.