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Morning Report: Robert Whittaker thinks he could give Jon Jones ‘a run for his money’

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Robert Whittaker will answer questions at the UFC 213 post-fight press conference.
Robert Whittaker
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Jon Jones has spent his career dominating the light heavyweight division, but lately it seems like it’s all middleweights who want a piece of “Bones”.

Recently, former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold has been vocal about his belief that he’s the man to oust Jones from his 205-pound perch. Last week, ahead of his interim title winning performance against Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 236, Israel Adesanya called out Jones saying he was “hunting GOATs”. And now the current middleweight champion is also throwing his name in the hat to take on arguably the greatest fighter of all time.

Speaking yesterday with Submission Radio, Robert Whittaker suggested that after he beats Adesanya, he and Jones will be in a similar place - having cleaned out their divisions - and that a superfight would make sense.

“He’s kind of cleaned out his division,” Whittaker said. “It’s one of those things. We’ll have to wait and see. I’m gonna fight Adesanya, then I’ll be a little free myself.

“I’d definitely move up, not down. But if he’s looking for opponents, that’s a fight. That’s a great fight.”

It’s an interesting idea, and one that has scarcely been considered, despite a number of other middleweight contenders moving up and having success at light heavyweight. Part of that is probably because of Whittaker’s history as a welterweight, but it also hasn’t been on the radar because Whittaker has not pushed for it, something he says makes more sense to consider now that he’s on the cusp of beating most of the top guys at 185 pounds.

“Well, while I was making my run through the middleweight division and fighting in the division, it was very hard for me to plan outside of the division,” Whittaker said. “Obviously, all my focus has been on the division and doing work there and making waves and making moves there, but seeing Jon Jones looking for opponents and then idea of moving up, I don’t hate that idea.”

Perhaps he should. Jones’ record against former middleweights is a sterling 3-0, with the chance to move to 4-0 when he takes on Thiago Santos at UFC 239 this July. But, as you might expect, Whittaker thinks he could be the one to put an end to that winning streak.

“Yeah man, why not?” Whittaker asked. “I think I could just give him a run for his money. I surprise a lot of people and I’m full of tricks. I think the intensity I bring into a fight is something that a lot of people aren’t prepared for. But he’s a great fighter, he’s super, super dangerous. I’m under no illusion how hard it would be, and yeah, I think it would be fun.”

And as for Adesanya? Coming off his interim title win, “The Last Stylebender” has been getting all the attention from Jones at this moment. But Whittaker thinks a fight between them would be over before it began.

“I think Jon Jones would kill him [laughs],” Whittaker said. “Yeah, I think it’s silly, but then Israel just kind of take jabs and bites out of everyone, doesn’t he? Yeah, he’s got a big mouth.”

Whittaker and Adesanya will unify their middleweight titles later this year. After that, the winner may well get their wish and get a chance to face Jones.


MUST-READ STORIES

Respect. Anderson Silva: Israel Adesanya ‘needs to respect’ Jon Jones.

Coma. Angela Magana in coma after emergency surgery.

Numbers. UFC 236 prelims average 893,000 viewers.

Statement. Kevin Lee says he, Rafael dos Anjos should come into UFC Rochester at 165 pounds to make statement.


VIDEO STEW

The A-Side Live Chat.

Anderson Silva open workout.

Top 3 fights of 2019 so far.

Alistair Overeem looking back on his UFC career.

Paul Felder out there giving back.


LISTEN UP

Heavy Hands. Looking back on the majesty of UFC 236 and a mini-preview of this weekend.

Mookie & Crookie. Discussing UFC 236, the new PPV era, and Rich Franklin in the HoF.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

DC is mad.

Jon.

Comeback starts now.

Gaethje wants a fight and rumor is he was offered Conor but Conor said no.

Ray Borg is getting serious.

Chael can still cut a promo.

Poster.

Henry Cejudo has become self aware.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Pedro Carvalho (9-3) vs. Derek Campos (19-8); Bellator Birmingham, May 4.

John Gotti III (3-0) vs. DeVon Mosley (3-2): CES 56, May 31.


TODAY IN MMA HISTORY

2009: Anderson Silva successfully defended his middleweight title with a lackluster unanimous decision win over Thales Leites at UFC 97. Also on the card, Mauricio Rua staked his claim for a light heavyweight title shot, knocking out Chuck Liddell.

2014: Douglas Lima won the vacant Bellator welterweight title by stopping Rick Hawn at Bellator 117.

2015: Luke Rockhold earned a middleweight title shot, submitting Lyoto Machida with a rear-naked choke at UFC on FOX 15.


FINAL THOUGHTS

At the end of his career, the UFC should give Jon an honorary middleweight title.

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.


EXIT POLL

Poll

Who fares better against Jon Jones?

This poll is closed

  • 41%
    Whittaker
    (1031 votes)
  • 7%
    Adesanya
    (182 votes)
  • 48%
    They are both equally slaughtered.
    (1206 votes)
  • 2%
    They both beat Jon.
    (60 votes)
2479 votes total Vote Now

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