Jon Jones has talked about potentially fighting at heavyweight for several years but the longest reigning 205-pound champion in UFC history has never actually made the move.
Back in September, Jones teased a big fight announcement that was forthcoming and he’s now revealed that he was actually trying to land a heavyweight title shot against current champion Stipe Miocic.
The matchup never came together but Jones was serious about making the transition to heavyweight for the opportunity to face Miocic with the title on the line.
“But at the moment I was so ready to go to heavyweight and stick my hands in with some of those big fellas.”
According to Jones, the thoughts of moving to heavyweight first entered his head after his split decision win over Thiago Santos back in July.
After adding muscle and size to his frame, the 32-year-old New York native felt like he was finally ready to see how he would do against the biggest fighters in the UFC.
“After this Thiago Santos fight, I was at a place where I wanted to start entertaining the heavyweight division,” Jones said. “I’ve been wrestling with my brother my whole life. I’ve been going with Andrei Arlovski and [Alistair] Overeem and all these big guys my whole career and I’ve always done well. At 240 [pounds] I move just as well as a I do at light heavyweight. My versatility, I realize, is not things most heavyweights would do, spinning things, flying knees, things like that. I feel really good.
“The time is going to be really close. I wouldn’t be surprised if it happened in 2020. I was 240 not that long ago. Right now, I’m living with my nutritionist and I’ve built a home gym in my garage and I feel really, really good right now. I’m 230 with a six pack.”
When the heavyweight title fight didn’t come together, Jones turned his attention back to the 205-pound division where he now faces Dominick Reyes in the main event at UFC 247 in February.
Assuming he’s successful in his next title defense, Jones believes the move to heavyweight could be inevitable as he seeks to test himself against a different breed of opponent.
“I think it’s a very strong possibility, absolutely,” Jones said about moving to heavyweight in 2020. “There’s always going to be someone next. I feel as if I’ve cleared the division and I’m waiting around and I’m taking on new challenges. I’m not sitting on the title. I’m not hiding from anybody.
“I chose Dominick because he appears to be the best out of all of my contenders and I’m just ready to just take over the world.”