Jon Jones has chosen the fighter he wants to face in his next title defense.
The reigning UFC light heavyweight champion hasn’t fought since July when he won a split decision over Thiago Santos to defend his belt for the second straight time. Months have passed since that time with Jones teasing a return to action, but there didn’t seem to be a clear-cut No. 1 contender ready to oppose him.
That all changed this week after Jones and his coaching staff broke down some recent fight footage and decided that undefeated contender Dominick Reyes would present the most interesting challenge.
According to Jones, he examined fights from Reyes and Corey Anderson, who recently handed top rated prospect Johnny Walker a one-sided loss in their meeting at UFC 244 in New York.
“Just finished a coaches meeting studying Dominick and Corey‘s careers,” Jones wrote on Twitter. “Established Dominick’s definitely the more dangerous fighter. Beating his ass next.”
Dominick Reyes has earned a UFC title shot
That will come as welcome news to Reyes’ ears after he started calling for the Jones fight immediately after his first-round knockout against former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman back in July.
Reyes is now 12-0 in his career with six straight wins in the UFC including the knockout against Weidman, as well as a split-decision victory over former title challenger Volkan Oezdemir.
Prior to UFC 244 this past weekend, UFC president Dana White had already said he was targeting a fight between Jones and Reyes for the future, but no formal offers had been made.
Now Reyes can hope that Jones’ declaration will secure his first shot at UFC gold, as he looks to tackle the longest reigning champion in light heavyweight history and solve the unsolvable puzzle that no one has been able to figure out for 27 fights over the past 11 years.
TRENDING > Did Nate Diaz just retire from the UFC?
Corey Anderson responds to Jon Jones
As for Anderson, he had already conceded that Reyes was probably going to be next in line for the title shot, but he fired back at Jones’ decision via Twitter.
“Ha. Okay Bones, I wouldn’t want to fight me either,” Anderson said while tagging Jones on Twitter.