Jon Jones is set to defend his UFC light heavyweight belt against Dominick Reyes at UFC 247 on Saturday, but he might already have a name in mind for his next fight.
That name is Stipe Miocic, which means Jones could be gunning to become the fifth fighter in UFC history to hold two belts at the same time. Miocic regained his heavyweight belt after topping Daniel Cormier at UFC 241 last August.
Jones told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani on Monday that he wants to face Miocic:
"I feel like I really want to fight [heavyweight champion] Stipe Miocic," Jones told ESPN in an interview that aired Monday on Ariel Helwani's MMA Show. "I feel like I could beat him."
"I feel like I could totally beat him, just based on his performances with DC, our speed differences, my fight IQ, my versatility, my faith and confidence ... I think I'm the guy to beat him, for sure. And I want to strike while I'm feeling hot."
The setup presumes Jones (25-1-1) is victorious against Reyes — he’s currently a -556 favorite at MGM — and that Miocic either beats Cormier to complete their trilogy or the UFC calls off its plans for the fight. Cormier has said he could retire if the Miocic fight isn’t booked by this summer.
Jones has fought as a light heavyweight during his entire UFC career. Alongside Cormier, Miocic would represent one of the biggest challenges of Jones’ career.
Jones reportedly indicated he wouldn’t do much to defend the heavyweight belt if he beat Miocic, as he said he’d probably go back to light heavyweight and possibly face the likes of Corey Anderson or Johnny Walker.
One opponent he doesn’t seem keen on facing is UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, who has repeatedly chirped with Jones on social media. from ESPN:
"I'm so far ahead when it comes to, I mean, you name it, in every sense of this game, I'm so far ahead of this kid," Jones said of Adesanya. "So the fact that I am even talking about him right now, I'm just going to stop."
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