Jon Jones says a bout against Stipe Miocic would not be a “real super fight.” I disagree.
After winning back his light heavyweight title, Jon Jones immediately called out Brock Lesnar. The fight would surely do big numbers, but it’s not the most realistic of options, as there’s a lot of hurdles to overcome concerning Lesnar’s suspension or even his real motives for publicly “accepting” the fight.
So why not call out a more available heavyweight, perhaps the current title holder in Stipe Miocic? Well, Jones says he’s uninterested in that matchup.
“I feel like if I was going to take a fight at heavyweight, it would be against a person who me and my coaches feel would be a perfect matchup for me,” Jones said (as transcribed by MMA Mania).
“Right now, Stipe is looking extremely impressive. And I believe if you get an extremely talented big guy versus an extremely talented little guy, I mean, a lot of the cards are in his favor. At the same time, I fear no man. I strike for a reason when I strike.”
Jones also states that with Miocic not being a household name, it wouldn’t be a “real super-fight” that sells.
“I feel like Stipe is relatively unknown to the general public. It wouldn’t even be a real super-fight in my opinion. I think a lot of MMA fans would be super excited about, but the general public wouldn’t care about that fight,” he explained. “Most people don’t really know who is, with all due respect to him.
“So, if I’m going to sacrifice being the smaller guy, I think stylistically Brock would be a fight that makes way more sense, and the payday would be tremendous. What it would do for our sport would be tremendous. Much bigger impact. So, for many reasons, a Brock Lesnar fight just makes much more sense to me.”
Jones says he prefers to continue his campaign at light heavyweight, but who else is left in the field? Jon has been dominant during his career, and has already beaten majority of the contenders at 205 lbs.
Jimi Manuwa, who was being groomed as the next title challenger, was knocked out on the same card. The person who beat him is Volkan Oezdemir, who is significantly more of an unknown commodity than Miocic. The rest of the Top 10 are either former Jones victims, or fighters coming off loses.
A rematch with Alexander Gustafsson seems like the only possibility at 205 lbs that could work. He was already mentioned at the end of the UFC 214 broadcast, but he’s still just 3-3 in his last 6, and contrary to what most would think, a champion vs champion bout vs Miocic would surely sell more than any realistic option right now.
Individually, is Gustafsson more popular than Miocic? That’s debatable, as Gus has Sweden behind him, but Miocic has had better pay-per-view numbers. Either way, the interest in Jones facing the heavyweight champion would be exponentially better, as the selling point isn’t just Miocic vs Jones. It also centers on the idea of Jon trying hold two belts at the same time as he goes up to a division with a limit 60 lbs heavier than his.
Alvarez has never even headlined a PPV card prior to his bout with McGregor, nor does his star power come close to many of the Irishman’s other opponents. But his legitimacy as champion, and having McGregor go for history, made him the perfect B-side that helped make UFC 205 one of the biggest events in UFC history.
Much like Conor’s situation where he was matched up with a “weaker” draw on paper, this unique and intriguing circumstance would have Jones receiving a similar bump on his normal drawing power as the A-side.
It’s fair for Jones to want a more favorable match up when he puts himself at a size and strength disadvantage, but a champion vs champion bout against Miocic is a “real super-fight” that sells.