Jon Jones is again.
To trolling on the web, selecting a combat.
The UFC gentle heavyweight champion final fought on July 6, when he edged Thiago Santos. It was the closest Jones (25-1, 1 NC) has come to shedding his belt, a minimum of when it comes to judging, as his slender win was by cut up resolution. Was it only a dangerous night time for “Bones”? Have the turbulent previous few years caught up with him? Is Jones slipping?
It is time for the champ to return to the cage to remind followers of what made him maybe the best blended martial artist ever. But after getting hopes up with a September tweet alerting the MMA world to “buckle your seatbelt” for a “large combat announcement coming quickly,” there was nothing however silence from Jones, aside from some future-focused sniping at middleweight champ Israel Adesanya.
The UFC’s gentle heavyweight division may have one other title contender emerge on Saturday.
Within the UFC Struggle Evening principal occasion, Jan Blachowicz, who has received 5 of his previous six fights, will tackle Jacare Souza, the veteran star who’s making his debut within the division.
UFC Struggle Evening: Blachowicz vs. Jacare
• Saturday, Sao Paulo, Brazil
• Prelims: ESPN+, 5 p.m. ET
• Principal card: ESPN+, eight p.m. ET
Subscribe to ESPN+ to get unique reside UFC occasions, weigh-ins and extra; Ariel and the Unhealthy Man; Dana White’s Contender Sequence; and extra unique MMA content material.
Jones lastly weighed in on a extra present-day matter final week, when he addressed the rampant hypothesis over whether or not the following 205-pound challenger ought to be Dominick Reyes, contemporary off final month’s knockout win over former middleweight champion Chris Weidman, or Corey Anderson, who every week in the past violently derailed the hype practice that had been carrying Johnny Walker towards Contenderville.
“Simply completed a coaches assembly learning Dominick and Cory’s careers,” Jones tweeted on Wednesday. “Established Dominicks undoubtedly the extra harmful fighter. Beating his ass subsequent.”
Usually, some old-school sorts would object to a champion selecting his personal challenger. However on this case, there’s not a foul choice. Each Reyes, who’s No. four within the ESPN gentle heavyweight rankings, and fifth-ranked Anderson have confirmed themselves to be absolutely certified. If reserving Reyes — a 29-year-old from Southern California who’s 12-0 — is what it takes for the UFC to get Jones, 32, to signal a bout settlement, so be it.
Reyes definitely is on board, primarily based on his laudatory Saturday tweet about Jones: “A champion so nice, he’s now going to be combating the primary of the following technology! It is such an honor and I can not anticipate my crack on the king within the octagon.”
So it is settled, then? If the UFC is prepared to go in that route, everybody might be glad, proper? Maybe, however do not anticipate these gentle heavyweights to play good.
Jones responded to Reyes on Sunday — with angle. Perhaps the champ was irked by the hashtags Reyes had added to his Saturday tweet — amongst them: #new and #champion. Or perhaps Jones had seen the much less respectful Reyes quotes in a narrative revealed on Friday.
“He is actually became fairly the troll,” Reyes instructed MMA Combating, talking about being the challenger Jones was calling out. “That is all I’ve received to say about that. He goes on-line simply to get a increase out of individuals, after which he does utterly completely different from what he says. I feel he is doing it simply to mess with folks, to be trustworthy.”
On Sunday, Jones was again on Twitter, quoting the Reyes tweet and including a fiery response: “You began this complete factor speaking about celebration favors and now you are going to present this faux ass respect? Critical query Dominic, what precisely is so subsequent technology about you or your combating model? Youre a brand new identify, that is the one factor completely different about you.”
Reyes really had some fascinating issues to say within the MMA Combating interview about what he believes makes him completely different from fighters Jones has confronted previously.
“Daniel] Cormier’s a specialist wrestler. [Alexander] Gustafsson’s a specialist striker. I am like all people in a single,” Reyes stated. “I am the new-generation fighter. He fought a bunch of old-generation fighters. That is his first foray into the brand new technology.”
Jones is not shopping for it. When a fan on social media instructed him he ought to take the Reyes combat and “submit” him, Jones responded: “That is the simple method out, I do not do simple. There’s completely no the place in his recreation I am intimidated. He is harmful within the first spherical, after that I will determine him out and choose them aside.”
No bout has been agreed upon, however Reyes has a date in thoughts.
“I would combat him Jan. 18 in Vegas,” Reyes instructed MMA Combating. “Put [Conor McGregor] on the co-main and that sells the combat.”
Hmm. McGregor as only a co-main occasion, not a headliner? Now, that looks as if a combat Reyes can have a tough time successful.