UFC Star Outlines Reason Why He’d Turn Down High-Profile Fight With Jon Jones

Jon Jones

Getty Jon Jones

Former UFC light heavyweight king Jon Jones and top-ranked heavyweight Curtis Blaydes have been linked to a potential collision inside the Octagon, but the latter would rather fight for the undisputed belt than competed against “Bones.”

MMA Junkie’s Nolan King reported on November 21 that insiders had filled him in about the UFC’s plan for Jones’ comeback. According to the report, the promotion would like Jones and heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou to fight at UFC 285 on March 5 in Las Vegas.

However, because Ngannou is still recovering from knee surgery and renegotiating his contract with the UFC, the promotion is looking at Blaydes as a “safety net” should “The Predator” not make it to the Octagon, King reported.

After King shared the news, many in the MMA community theorized that if Jones vs. Blaydes comes to fruition, there will be an interim belt on the line.

When speaking with Fanatics View’s James Lynch, Blaydes expressed his interest in fighting Bones. But if he could choose between an interim title fight with Jones or fighting for undisputed gold, he’d pick the latter.

“Title shot — yeah, that’s the ultimate goal,” Blaydes said. “Jon is the ultimate consolation, but what you workout for every day is the real belt — not the interim belt. The real belt.”

Blaydes Said He Would Keep Jones Guessing By Being Aggressive With a Diversified Game

Blaydes is known as potentially the best active heavyweight wrestler. And should they battle, “Razor,” who also has an ever-evolving striking game, plans to give Jones “a lot to think about” by being the aggressor inside the cage.

“I think he’s used to being the aggressor, being able to use his reach and walk other guys down,” Blaydes said. “I know he likes to play with the hands and the wrist. People allow him to do that because they’re stagnant and they’re going backwards.

“I wanna flip it. I want him to be going backwards and I won’t be going in a straight line. It’ll be up and down, side to side — give him a lot to think about. That way he’s not able to just hit me with the jab, teets and all that. You’ve got to be constantly moving.”

Blaydes Pointed to Jones’ Ex-Opponents as Examples of Why He Could Be Successful Fighting Bones

Considering Jones’ most recent opponent Dominick Reyes nearly edged him on the scorecards at UFC 247 in February 2020 — Blaydes thinks he could find similar success that Reyes found in the fight.

Razor also pointed to Jones and Alexander Gustafsson’s Hall of Fame clash at UFC 165 in 2013.

“The one guy who did that was [Alexander] Gustafsson,” Blaydes continued. “He did that. In that fight he moved great, he attempted takedowns — he mixed it up. You’ve got to do everything. And that’s what I would do. I think I have the measurements, obviously I think I’m the better grappler. I know he’s a great on the feet.

“He has the reach advantage, but he had the reach advantage also against Dom Reyes and I sparred with Dom —  I also have the reach advantage on Dom. And Dom was able to land a lot of those rear uppercuts. So, if he can get into range to do that, I can get into range to land elbows and wrestle.

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