Mike Winkeljohn believes the time is now for Jon Jones to go up to heavyweight.
For years now, the talk around “Bones” has been when will he go up to heavyweight? He’s cleaned out the entire light heavyweight division twice, but has been reluctant to move up in weight.
Now, however, Winkeljohn says Jones needs something that motivates him and that is the move to heavyweight. It will also secure the light heavyweight champion more money according to his coach.
“I want Jon to fight whatever motivates him. When he is up for a fight that motivates him he trains at the highest level,” Winkeljohn said to BJPENN.com. “I always wanted him to just continue to clean house at light heavyweight and make his legacy there as opposed to going up to heavyweight. But, at this point, it’s time for Jon Jones to take the big fights [and go up to heavyweight].”
If Jones does indeed go up to heavyweight, who he will make his debut against is unknown. He could get an immediate title shot against Stipe Miocic or perhaps fight a top contender like Francis Ngannou or Curtis Blaydes.
For Winkeljohn, he isn’t sure who they would want his debut fight to be against. But, they are confident Bones would destroy most heavyweights.
“Jon can definitely fight at heavyweight and destroy a lot of these guys. But, at heavyweight that is a lot of weight and when they swing for the fences and connect stuff happens. We’ve seen it before,” he explained. “It is always a scary thing but the scary situations that motivates Jon Jones.”
One fight that makes a ton of sense is the trilogy with Daniel Cormier at heavyweight. Jones-Cormier have one of the best rivalries in MMA but Winkeljohn isn’t sure “DC” wants to fight Bones again.
But, Winkeljohn does hope it happens as it is a big payday for both fighters and a big fight for the UFC.
“No, I don’t think Cormier wants any part of Jon Jones. I think Jones is that good and DC is super talented and I like that guy,” Winkeljohn said. “But, when someone has your number it is hard to get that win. I hope I am wrong about it and that fight happens.”
In the end, Mike Winkeljohn isn’t sure when Jon Jones will fight again due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But, don’t be surprised if his next bout is at heavyweight.
Who do you think Jon Jones should fight at heavyweight if he does move up?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 4/8/2020.