Over the last few weeks, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has expressed interest in a big-ticket money fight with former UFC heavyweight champ and WWE megastar Brock Lesnar. At the same time, Jones explained that a fight with Stipe Miocic, the actual heavyweight champ, doesn’t interest him quite as much:
“I feel like if I was to take a fight at heavyweight, it would be against a person who I felt, and my coaches felt would be a perfect matchup for me,” Jon Jones said at the UFC 214 post-fight presser. “Right now Stipe (Miocic) is looking extremely impressive and I believe when you get an extremely talented big guy versus and extremely talented little guy, the cards are working in his favor. At the same time, I fear no man. But, I strike for a reason when I strike and I feel like right now Stipe is relatively unknown to the general public. So it wouldn’t be a real super-fight in my opinion. I feel like the MMA fans would be really excited about it. But the general public wouldn’t care about that fight. Most people really don’t know who he (Miocic) is, with all due respect to him. So if I am going to sacrifice being the smaller guy, I think that stylistically Brock Lesnar would be a fight that makes way more sense. And the payday would be tremendous! Plus what it would do for our sport would be tremendous. It would have a much greater effect (than a fight with Miocic). So for those reasons, a Brock Lesnar fight just makes way more sense for me.”
During a recent appearance on Submission Radio, Jon Jones’ striking coach Mike Winkeljohn elaborated on Jones’ desire for a fight with Lesnar, and reluctance to fight Miocic. Apparently, it’s all about weighing risk versus reward.
“Jon is a light heavyweight, so you can’t ask somebody just to step up and fight the best in the world at heavyweight and forgo the money fight against someone who they think they can beat,” Winkeljohn said (h/t Jesse Holland of MMAMania.com). Jon said it himself, he thinks a good big man always beats a good smaller man. Jon Jones said that himself in a press conference. Do I think Jon thinks he can beat Stipe? Yeah. Do I think he might have said it? Yes. But I like the Brock Lesnar fight for right now. And we need to work on some skills and get some weight on Jon before he fights with Stipe, because I think that Stipe is a harder fight.”
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This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 8/14/2017.