Jon Jones still believes he has plenty of work to do in the light heavyweight division but that wouldn’t stop him from pursuing a second world title if the right opportunity came along.
The reigning 205-pound champion defended his home turf again on Saturday night, albeit in closer fashion than many expected as Jones earned a split decision victory against Thiago Santos after five rounds off battle at UFC 239.
It didn’t take long after his latest win for Jones to once again hear the name Daniel Cormier, who is preparing to defend his heavyweight title against former champion Stipe Miocic next month at UFC 241.
Jones and Cormier have engaged in one of the most bitter rivalries in the history of the sport so it’s understandable why the possibility of a third fight between them comes up so often. For his part, Jones sounds like he’d be interested in pursuing the fight so long as the UFC is willing to up the ante when it comes to his paycheck.
“Absolutely,” Jones answered when asked if he’d be interested in the winner of Cormier vs. Miocic. “Me and Daniel, we’re both speaking the same thing. It’s gonna be a super fight and the only reason why it hasn’t happened is because I think the UFC’s scheduling.
“When the UFC’s ready for the fight, they know they have two guys who are willing and able and they’ll approach us. They’ll say ‘hey this is what you guys are going to get paid’ and I’m sure me and Daniel will be happy.”
While a rivalry fight with Cormier would do big business, Jones added that he would also be willing to face Miocic under those same circumstances if the right offer came along.
“Yeah absolutely I’d be willing to fight Stipe as well,” Jones said. “I would rather fight Daniel because I feel like I have his recipe but I’d fight Stipe, too.”
For all the talk about going up to heavyweight to challenge either Cormier or Miocic, Jones says he ultimately wants to focus on the 205-pound division where new challenges are springing up constantly.
Santos surprised a lot of people — even Jones on some level — by earning a split decision on Saturday night and there are a new crop of contenders working up the rankings in hopes of challenging the reigning champion in the near future.
“To be honest with you, my passion is in the light heavyweight division,” Jones said. “There’s so many guys that are coming up right now and so much work to be done still. A lot of people always say ‘Jon, you cleared a division’ but I don’t look at it that way.
“I’m impressed by all the fighters. There’s so many guys.”