Tonight is an important night in the UFC’s light heavyweight division. Last weekend, Light Heavyweight Champion Jon “Bones” Jones narrowly defeated Dominick “The Devastator” Reyes by a controversial division at UFC 247, and this weekend may determine who Bones’ next opponent will be.
The main event tonight for UFC Fight Night: Anderson vs. Blachowicz 2 has the potential of catapulting either Corey “Overtime” Anderson or Jan Blachowicz into a title shot against Jones. Also, if the winner fails to impress, or the fight ends in controversy, it may support the claims that Reyes deserves an instant rematch.
If the fans don’t get behind the winner of February 15’s main event, many eyes may remain on Jones vs. Reyes 2.
The main card for UFC Fight Night: Anderson vs. Blachowicz 2 starts at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, exclusively on ESPN+.
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One of These Three Men May Fight Jon Jones Next
By assessing the official UFC light heavyweight rankings, the most likely candidates for Bones next fight are Dominick Reyes, Corey Anderson and Jan Blachowicz.
Currently, Reyes sits in the number one spot, and even though he wasn’t awarded the decision at UFC 247 on February 8, many fans and analysts scored the fight for him. Even though his loss was controversial, the promotion hasn’t guaranteed The Devastator a rematch against the champ.
Number two ranked Thiago Santos, who battled Jones to a split-decision loss at UFC 239, is currently recovering from injury. Even though there were calls for an instant rematch after their bout, the gritty performance by Reyes may trump Santos’ claim.
The man ranked at three is Anthony Smith. He fought Jones at UFC 232 in March 2019, and he lost a clear decision. Smith may have to win one or two more fights before he is granted a rematch against Bones. He is currently scheduled to fight the number nine ranked Glover Teixeira at UFC Fight Night 173 on April 25.
Former UFC Lightweight and Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier, who is ranked number four, has made it clear that he wants to rematch Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic and then retire.
Corey Anderson is ranked number five, and Jan Blachowicz is number six. The fight between them will take place a week after Bones fought Reyes. It’s likely the UFC scheduled this fight to determine the next contender and to have the champion and contender on the same competition timeline. But, if the winner doesn’t win impressively or dominantly, it may leave the door open for the Reyes rematch.
There is always the chance that the UFC takes another route. They could send Jones up to heavyweight to challenge Stipe Miocic and give him a chance at becoming a two-division champion.
Top Contenders Fight for the Chance at the Champ
Corey Anderson will look to extend his winning streak to five when he takes on Jan Blachowicz. Conversely, Blachowicz is on a mission to win three in a row. But it’s not just about increasing the streak for these men; it’s about earning a light heavyweight title shot.
Because of the controversy with the Jones and Reyes decision, the winner must shine now more than ever.