After watching Alexander Gustafsson blast through a tough undefeated knock out artist in Jimi Manuwa at UFC Fight Night in London on Saturday, Jon Jones echoed his previously imparted sentiment on how he believes the light heavyweight division should conduct business moving forward.
“Why not give the winner of Alexander and DC the winner of myself and Glover??” ~ Jon Jones (@JonnyBones)
The young but experienced champion doesn’t hold the number one pound for pound spot in most of our hearts and minds out of dumb luck or through uncontrollable happen stance. He’s fought tooth and nail through what even Joe Rogan described as the murderers row of the light heavyweight division.
“[He’s] the best fighter around… He has so much confidence in getting a win” ~ MyTopSportsbooks.com
Since he’s brutally finished the likes of Mauricio Rua, Lyoto Machida, Rampage Jackson, and Vitor Belfort, it’s time to address what he wants in the division or at least take his requests more serious than they’ve been in the past.
It’s no secret that Jon Jones wants some of the top contenders to square off a little bit more than given direct lines to title shots. I know it’s not exactly a linear equation set forth by UFC match maker Joe Silva when considering matchups in the light heavyweight division, but after watching Chael Sonnen and Vitor Belfort receive unprecedented title shots, then witnessing Daniel Cormier increase his bid for a title shot against a UFC first timer, plus watching Gustafsson fight a dangerous yet unranked contender to earn back his shot, while finally waiting for Glover Teixeira who has never fought a top 10 contender in his life; nonetheless set for Jones in April, it’s time to listen to the champ and end the madness.
He simply wants some of his competitors to earn their shots a little more thoroughly than in the past. Why not create a little tournament like he consistently asks for? Daniel Cormier vs. Alexander Gustafsson would answer a lot of questions with Cormier and give Gustafsson a strong argument for a rematch against the champ, if he won.
Hell, even Teixeira should be in a tournament to fight Jones if you look at his record. Let’s continue the good will created from banning TRT and increase the honor of fighting in the UFC a little bit more by making the path to the belt a little more arduous and well deserved.
If fans want to see Jones tested more often, make his contenders go through a gauntlet of challenges until they know without trepidation in the moment when they step in the cage opposite the undefeated king of the sport, they can’t be stepped over without incident.
I do get it though. The UFC is a business, no matter how much we despise that reality, it exists for a reason. Jon Jones is one of the most profitable brands the UFC has created over the years. In the wake of having delivered pure sporting gold in 2013, it was also a year of losses as well.
With the likes of Anderson Silva, Georges St Pierre, and Nick Diaz gone, they are burdened with finding creative ways to keep turning a profit and funding their expanding business. Fighters complain about their pay, but in reality, what they deserve and what they make the UFC are two completely different beasts.
Most fighters are an investment for Zuffa, ineffective in their career’s infancy and unable in the end to contribute past providing filler fights for the main event headliners. But all that aside, Jon Jones still has a point. He’s also not asking for much. A four man tournament wouldn’t jam things up that bad and Jones would be able to get a little break from single handedly picking off everyone within his weight class.
But regardless of their individual roads to the belt, the likes of Gustaffson, Cormier, and Teixeira are not to be taken lightly. Expect each one, in their own way, to bring down the house that Jones built, if given the opportunity.