In this week’s “Heavy Lies the Crown” feature, BJPENN.com’s Chris Taylor takes a look at the dangerous challenges awaiting current UFC light heavyweight kingpin Jon Jones.
Jones was most recently seen in action at last weekend’s UFC 235 event in Las Vegas, where he scored a unanimous decision victory over Anthony Smith.
Prior to his win over “Lionheart”, Jones was coming off a third round knockout victory over former title challenger Alexander Gustaffson at December’s UFC 232 event in Los Angeles.
“Bones” is 24-1 in sum, with his lone blemish coming via disqualification (illegal elbows) in a fight he was dominating against Matt Hamill.
Looking to the future, here are four dangerous opponents ready and willing to step up and face Jon Jones next.
Thiago Santos (20-6 MMA) is a bad man! “Marreta” is never in a boring fight and a scrap with Jon Jones is sure to produce fireworks. Since moving up to the UFC’s light heavyweight ranks, Thiago Santos has gone 3-0 scoring knockout victories over Eryk Anders, Jimi Manuwa and most recently Jan Błachowicz during that time.
Dominick Reyes currently boasts a perfect professional record of 10-0, with four of those victories coming under the UFC banner. The 29-year-old scored stoppage wins over Joachim Christensen, Jeremy Kimball and Jared Cannonier before defeating Ovince Saint Preux via unanimous decision in his most recent appearance at UFC 229. Reyes is slated to fight Volkan Oezdemir later this month in London.
Johnny Walker (17-3 MMA) has gone a perfect 3-0 since joining the UFC ranks in November of 2018. In that time, the 26-year-old Brazilian has needed only 2 minutes and 48 seconds total octagon time to knockout opponents Khalil Rountree, Justin Ledet and most recently Misha Cirkunov.
Last but certainly not least on this list is current UFC heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier (22-1 MMA). “DC” and “Bones” have a storied rivalry having already competed two times in the past. Jones defeated Cormier via unanimous decision in their first encounter at UFC 182 in January of 2015. In the pairs highly anticipated rematch at UFC 214, Jones would once again emerge victorious this time by way of third round knockout. However, that bout was later ruled a no-contest, this after “Bones” tested positive for turinabol. A trilogy bout between the bitter rival would surely do massive numbers and provide fight fans with another “champ vs. champ” spectacle.
Who would you like to see current UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones fight in his next octagon appearance? Sound off in the comments section PENN Nation!