UFC welterweight contender Gilbert Burns believes Jon Jones’s move up to the heavyweight division will probably end in disaster.
Jones, the long-time UFC light heavyweight champion, recently vacated his title with plans to climb up to heavyweight. While his debut in the division is not yet set, he’s expected to fight the winner of an unscheduled title fight between champion Stipe Miocic and challenger Francis Ngannou.
Burns, for his part, doesn’t see either of those fights going well for Jones—particularly if he ends up fighting the knockout puncher Ngannou.
“Jon Jones at heavyweight? Me, I don’t like that so much,” Burns said on his YouTube channel (via Abhinav Kini). “When you have a guy like Francis Ngannou in the heavyweight division, I don’t know. I don’t see an easy path for Jon Jones in the heavyweight division. Or he has to fight Stipe. If Stipe beats Ngannou, Stipe is fighting Jon Jones. But I don’t think that’s going to happen. I think Ngannou is going to defeat Stipe and Ngannou will fight Jon Jones. And I don’t like that fight.
“I don’t like the ‘what if,’ but what if Jon Jones goes against Francis Ngannou and [Ngannou is] going to knock him out badly?” Burns continued. “How about that? What is Jon Jones going to do? First, when you’re undefeated and you lose, it’s very tough. … If you’re champion, undefeated, undisputed and then you lose badly, I don’t know how that’s going to affect you [mentally]. I don’t know about Jon Jones’ future.”
Burns then suggested that Jones should have stuck to the light heavyweight division and taken on fighters like Jan Blachowicz and Israel Adesanya.
“I think he still has a couple of guys to beat at 205 [pounds],” Burns said. “My opinion: he should fight Adesanya. Stay at 205, beat Jan Blachowicz, beat [Thiago] Santos again, another guy.”
What do you think of these comments from Gilbert Burns? Is Jon Jones going to be in over his head at heavyweight?