Jones has remained out of action since his last outing against Dominick Reyes in Feb. 2020. Widely regarded as the greatest mixed martial artist of all time, he has been on the sidelines in preparation for his move up to heavyweight. Being the youngest champion in UFC history, the former light heavyweight king ruled the division for nearly a decade, from 2011 through 2020.
“Bones” looked dominant in his run at the top. Many of his opponents do not look the same after sharing the cage with him. Reyes, his latest competitor, lost steam following the loss to Jones and got finished in each of his next two bouts against the reigning 205 lb champion Jiri Prochazka and former division title holder Jan Blachowicz.
Thiago Santos, Jones’ previous opponent, came the closest to beating him. He’s the only fighter to officially have a judge score the fight in his favor over Jones, despite falling short in a split decision result. Santos did not look the same after the bout and went on to drop four in his next five, securing a sole win over Johnny Walker.
Alexander Gustafsson took to the octagon opposite Jones on two occasions and had a historic first outing. Considered to be one of the best fighters to not become a champion, Gustafsson never found the same form again after his defeat to Jones in Sep. 2013. The Swedish MMA pioneer racked up just three wins to six losses in the promotion ahead.
Jones took notice of the ‘Bones’ curse that seems to be placed on his opponents, in a now-deleted Aug. 8 tweet: “I’ve always found this interesting, seems to be the case with almost all my opponents.”
When a fan weighed in to suggest that Teixeira was different, Jones responded in the affirmative: “I think I agree, he’s the only one that kept kicking ass afterwards.”
Jones Is Expected To Make His Heavyweight Debut Next
During his time away, Jones got linked to a potential showdown with the current UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou. A debut title fight would appear to be far-fetched in one’s debut but Jones’ credentials cleared the way for a megafight.
Ngannou’s long-running public feud with company president Dana White put a wrench in the plans. On the other hand, Jones wanted more money than offered for the bout as well.
Former heavyweight king Stipe Miocic was found as the replacement. Jones is expected to get an interim title shot against the record-breaking veteran in his division debut next. He is itching to go and suggested that he is waiting on the other parties to get a fight booked.
Teixeira Will Probably Get a Rematch Against Jiri Prochazka
Coming off a defeat to light heavyweight champion Prochazka in his last outing, Teixeira lost his throne in the main event at UFC 275. He will likely get an immediate rematch, considering how close the first one was. Teixeira was on top of the judges’ scorecards going into the fifth round but eventually lost by submission in the final 30 seconds.
Blachowicz was waiting on the fringes to pounce at the opportunity to challenge the new king. Although Prochazka indicated his willingness toward the potential matchup, he expressed a desire to face Teixeira again to get a decisive win.
Teixeira became the oldest champion in UFC history when he knocked off Blachowicz in Oct. last year. He would still have the belt if he managed to go the full distance and will look to avenge his loss if the title rematch gets finalized.