Jon Jones is the current king of the light heavyweight division; he reclaimed his title at the end of 2018 with a win over Alexander Gustafsson (#2). Jones said he wants to fight 4 times in 2019, but what will his schedule look like assuming he is to defend his title 4 times within the year?
Jones has already defended his title once back in March where he defeated Anthony Smith (#4) and he has another fight scheduled during International Fight Week in July where he will face off against Thiago Santos (#3). Santos has risen up the rankings at light heavyweight in similar fashion to Smith since moving up from the middleweight division in 2018.
Dominick Reyes (#5) appears to be near the top of the list to challenge Jones next as he is on an 11-fight win streak, and is undefeated. There could be debate that Reyes needs to take another fight and win in a dominant fashion to show he deserves a shot at the belt after he beat Volkan Oezdemir (#7) in a close decision. Reyes has plenty of hype behind him as a younger undefeated prospect, and the fight would not be hard to sell.
There have been rumors circulating around Jones and Daniel Cormier, the current heavyweight champion, stepping into the octagon for a third fight. Cormier is currently slated to fight Stipe Miocic (#1) in a rematch where Cormier won the belt at heavyweight. Cormier has come out and said a few times that he wants to fight Jones again, but the question is at what weight, and when? Cormier wanted to retire this past March, but was waiting for a fight with Brock Lesnar while he was in the WWE and reentering the USADA testing pool. But, in recent weeks Lesnar announced his retirement from MMA.
The fight that I want to see before the end of the year is against Johnny Walker (#12). Jones recently gave a list of names he’d most likely fight before moving up in weight and Walker was one of them. He will need another fight or two before his shot comes, but the charismatic young future star is sure to get a chance eventually. Walker has been a show stopper since he exploded onto the scene on DWTNCS, and has continued his impressive performances in the UFC.
Jones looks to be on pace to hit is 4 fights in 2019 goal. After being suspended from the UFC for numerous reasons, Jones appears to be trying to make up for lost time since is return. There is never a bad time for a Jon Jones fight, and no matter who he fights, it is sure to be an entertaining night.
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Connor “Rags” Rogowsky is a co-owner of The Scrap and its current President. Rogowsky played football and track collegiately, and holds a Masters of Science in Psychology from Southern New Hampshire University. Make sure to follow Rags on Twitter (@rogowskyc).