Jones is widely regarded as one of the greatest mixed martial artists of all time. The former 205-pound champion became the youngest UFC titleholder at 23 and enjoyed a dominant run at the top that saw him defeat the likes of former two-division king Daniel Cormier, Vitor Belfort, and Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua. He has remained on the sidelines since his last outing against Dominick Reyes in Feb. 2020 at UFC 247. ‘Bones’ edged out Reyes in a close-fought contest that many believe could have gone either way.
Following two narrow wins over Reyes and Thiago Santos, Jones relinquished the belt and announced a move up to heavyweight. Reigning heavyweight king Francis Ngannou got linked to a showdown with Jones but no concrete developments happened amid contract disputes from both parties.
There were rumors of a matchup between Jones and former heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic for the final pay-per-view event of the year. However, renowned MMA journalist Ariel Helwani recently reported it would not materialize due to negotiation issues.
Blachowicz Says Jones Is ‘Afraid’ To Return
In an interview with James Lynch of Middle Easy, Blachowicz shared his thoughts on the latest developments surrounding Jones’ return to the octagon.
“I don’t believe that Jon Jones will come back to fighting anymore,” said Blachowicz. “I think that he’s so afraid to lose that he will do everything to not come back. Because everybody saw the time when he dominated our division completely. After a couple of years, everybody started catching up to his level.
“It was very hard for him to dominate in fights, like with Dominick Reyes, it was a very close fight.”
Blachowicz Believes the Competition Has Caught Up to Jones
‘The Legendary Polish Power’ believes Jones understands the risk the current pool of contenders presents. Although ‘Bones’ would not be back in the light heavyweight division, the gap between him and the other fighters appears to have closed down, considering how close his final two bouts at 205 pounds were.
“Everybody who fought against him, it got closer and closer in each fight. I think he started to feel he is not that good anymore, that we started to grow and catch up to his level and finally someone could stop him.
“I think the reason why he don’t want to fight is that he’s afraid to lose.”
Former light heavyweight champion Blachowicz is coming off a win over top-ranked contender Aleksandr Rakic in his last outing in May. Blachowicz was expected to face current light heavyweight champion Jiri Prochazka, who promised him a title shot before his win over Glover Teixeira. However, he got lined up with Magomed Ankalaev for the co-main event of UFC 282 on Dec. 10 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
A win over Ankalaev could get Blachowicz back in the mix of title contention as the top contender. The winner of Blachowicz vs. Ankalaev will likely challenge the winner of Prochazka vs. Teixeira 2, which headlines the same December card, for the title next.