One of the most exciting storylines to follow this year in MMA is Jon Jones’ heavyweight debut. The former light heavyweight king has been preparing for months to make his debut north of 205 pounds after vacating his belt last year.
He has never fought in the heavyweight division but according to UFC president Dana White, “Bones” will receive an immediate title shot against the winner of Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou 2. Miocic, the heavyweight king, will look to defend his title once again against “The Predator” at UFC 260 next month, according to ESPN.
Whoever leaves the Octagon as the champion on March 27 will face the realization that his next bout will be against arguably the greatest fighter of all time in Jones.
“We know what [Jones] wants,” White recently told TMZ Sports. “He wants the winner of Stipe and Francis, so that fight’s got to happen first.”
When asked if Bones would receive the title fight, White confirmed he would.
“Yup,” the UFC president said.
White said fans could see Jones fight for the title as early as summer, depending on how Miocic vs. Ngannou shakes out.
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Miocic vs. Ngannou is a Rematch 3 Years in the Making
UFC 220 marked the first time Miocic and Ngannou fought each other inside the Octagon. It was a highly anticipated contest as The Predator was riding the wave of a 10-fight win streak that he built with all finishes. He had won all six of his UFC fights and was coming off a devastating KO over Alistair Overeem.
But in January 2018, Miocic showed why he was the heavyweight champion. He dominated the fight with his grappling and won a lopsided unanimous decision. Miocic would then go on to fight Daniel Cormier three times. He lost his belt in their first encounter but won it back in their second. They fought in a trilogy match last summer with Miocic getting his hand raised once again.
After his defeat to Miocic, The Predator lost to Derrick Lewis in a lackluster affair. That is Ngannou’s last loss to date. Winning four fights in a row, he has clearly established himself as the No. 1 contender.
All four victories are by first-round KO/TKO, defeating the likes of Cain Velasquez and Jairzinho Rozenstruik.
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Jones Hasn’t Fought in Over a Year, Last Competed in February 2020 Against Dominick Reyes
Bones’ last fight was one of the closest of his career. He defended his light heavyweight strap against Dominick Reyes by unanimous decision in the main event of UFC 247 in February 2020.
“The Devastator” started the contest strong, winning the first round on all of the judges’ scorecards. The rest of the contest was back and forth, but Jones came on during the latter part of the fight against a tired Reyes.
Months after his victory, Jones announced he was vacating the light heavyweight title to move up to heavyweight. Reyes competed for the vacant strap in September against Jan Blachowicz and lost by second-round TKO.