On Saturday night at UFC 241, Stipe Miocic got his revenge on Danie Cormier by knocking him out in the fourth round to reclaim the heavyweight title. Heading into the event, talk of Cormier defending the title in a trilogy with Jon Jones hung around. But with Miocic dispatching Cormier, what does that mean regarding a potential move to heeavyweight for Jones? Should the UFC push for Jones to challenge Miocic now? MMA Junkie’s Simon Head, Farah Hannoun and Nolan King sound off in this latest edition of Triple Take.
Simon Head: Actually Jones-Cormier 3 might make even more sense now
A week is a long, long time in sports, and it can be an absolute age in MMA.
During fight week ahead of UFC 241, the underlying topic of discussion was whether we would be seeing a Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier trilogy after “DC’s” heavyweight title rematch with Miocic. That prompted a side discussion over which weight class the pair should compete in and whether Jones would be prepared to step up and face “DC” for the heavyweight title. Jones himself weighed in, virtually daring Cormier to move back down and face him again with some A-grade reverse psychology on social media.
But thanks to Stipe Miocic’s brilliant come-from-behind win in Anaheim, the prospect of Jones-Cormier 3 for the heavyweight title is now off the table. But that doesn’t mean Jones-Cormier 3 is dead in the water. And that is the one big reason why it makes little sense to push Jones to move up to heavyweight at this point.
Sure, Jones challenging Miocic for the heavyweight title is a big fight. But in the grand scheme of things, it probably doesn’t make sense, whether you look at it from the UFC’s point of view or from Jones’.
At 205, Jones is building a legacy as he chases Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson’s record of 11 UFC world title defenses. He’s currently at 8, and if he stays fit and active, could potentially match or surpass Johnson’s mark by the end of 2020. At that point, a move to heavyweight would make sense, but now? With a big fight, but not a blockbuster fight, to move up for, he’d be leaving a different title behind – the title of the most dominant UFC champion of all time.
Jones is big and rangy at 205, and would almost certainly need to add more muscle to his frame to help him deal with the challenges posed by the UFC’s big men. Once he commits himself to the strength and conditioning program to do that, moving back down to 205 will be a big ask.
Had Cormier stayed on top this past weekend, the lure of the biggest trilogy fight in UFC history may have been enough to tempt him. But now, the only feasible way we’ll see Jones and DC back in the cage together is at 205, and that’s just where Jones wanted it all along.
On top of that, there’s another ready-made rematch waiting to be made for the heavyweight title. Francis Ngannou has blasted his way back to the front of the queue and wants a piece of Miocic next. The UFC should book that fight, while continuing Jones’ story at 205.
And if DC decides to keep things rolling for a little while longer and fancies one more dance with “Bones” for the belt at 205, all the better.
Next page – Farah Hannoun: Now is the perfect time for Miocic vs. Jones