Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones finds himself in an interesting position moving up to the heavyweight division. UFC president Dana White confirmed to TMZ earlier this month that “Bones” will receive an immediate title shot against the winner of UFC 260’s main event.
On March 27, heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic will take on No. 1 ranked Francis Ngannou in a highly anticipated rematch.
Many would argue that Jones’ best play is to wait for the title fight. To become a multi-divisional UFC champion is something that would bolster Bones’ Hall of Fame career even more and could firmly establish himself as the greatest of all time.
Only seven fighters in UFC history have ever won a belt in two different weight classes.
However, one glaring issue with Bones taking the immediate title shot is the layoff that comes with it. Although Jones has not given a firm timeline for when he wants to debut, it’s unclear when the UFC 260 winner will be ready to defend their belt against the former light heavyweight king.
If Miocic or Ngannou scores a quick first-round KO, then they’d likely be ready to fight by the summer. However, if it’s a long, drawn-out battle, or the winner is injured during the bout, we may not see them back for a lengthy amount of time.
As history has it, the UFC heavyweight belt has only been up for grabs once a year since Cormier took it from Miocic in 2018.
Jones, who hasn’t fought for over a year, will likely hang back and watch how the UFC 260 main event plays out. And should it appear that the winner will be out for a while, or Bones is itching to get into the Octagon and earn a payday, an epic fight recently emerged for him at UFC Vegas 19.
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The Knockout King, Derrick Lewis, Picked Up a Massive Win on Saturday
The main event of UFC Vegas 19 on February 20 saw two top-five heavyweights go to war. No. 2 ranked Curtis Blaydes took on No. 4 ranked Derrick Lewis at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.
And on Saturday night, Lewis did what he did best. “The Black Beast” landed a devastating uppercut that knocked out Blaydes in the second round. Lewis went into the bout with the most knockouts in UFC heavyweight history, 11. And by earning his 12th, he is now tied for the most knockouts in the promotion’s history, regardless of weight class.
Derrick Lewis (+300) with a murder
— Barstool Sportsbook (@BSSportsbook) February 21, 2021
Lewis is now on a four-fight win streak and has made a solid case for a title shot in his own right. And although he wants to earn a championship, he is also not a fighter that wants to wait around for a title fight, he confirmed to Heavy in a recent interview.
A fight between Lewis and Jones would be an exciting matchup that could determine the No. 1 contender to fight the UFC 260 winner. It would be a compelling clash of styles, with the brawler Lewis taking on Jones, who is known for his wide arsenal of skills in all facets of MMA.
Lewis would be a fantastic gauge for us to see how Jones will perform as a heavyweight. Lewis proved against Blaydes that he has worked on his wrestling defense and can shut the lights off of anyone in the world with his power.
The buildup to the fight could be a lot of fun too, as Lewis is a unique and hilarious personality in the sport.
During the post-fight press conference, Lewis expressed interest in fighting No. 6 ranked Alistair Overeem in a three-round fight next. Overeem is coming off a loss by second-round TKO to Alexander Volkov in February.
The Black Beast also reiterated that he will fight “anyone” in the division next.
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UFC Vegas 19 Results
Here are the full results for the UFC Vegas 19 fight card on Saturday night:
Derrick Lewis def. Curtis Blaydes via second-round KO
Yana Kunitskaya def. Ketlen Vieira via UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Darrick Minner def. Charles Rosa via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 29-27)
Chris Daukaus def. Aleksei Oleinik via first-round TKO
Phil Hawes def. Nassourdine Imavov via majority decision (28-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Tom Aspinall def. Andrei Arlovski via second-round rear-naked choke
Jared Gordon def. Danny Chavez via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
John Castaneda def. Eddie Wineland via first-round TKO
Julian Erosa def. Nate Landwehr via first-round TKO
Casey O’Neill def. Shana Dobson via second-round TKO
Aiemann Zahabi def. Drako Rodriguez via first-round KO
Serghei Spivac def. Jared Vanderaa via second-round TKO