Now that former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is taking his talents to heavyweight it opens up an array of matchups that fight fans never thought could happen.
With potential clashes with Brock Lesnar, Francis Ngannou, and current UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic at his fingertips, Jones is about to embark on a move up in weight that will test his skill as a mixed martial artist and his toughness as a fighter.
That said, Jones is arguably the best pound-for-pound fighter to ever step inside of the Octagon and a big light heavyweight that has the frame to compete at the heavyweight level. “Bones” may have had to relinquish his 205-pound crown to give himself enough time to bulk up in weight, but the process has already begun.
While most are excited for Jones to test his limits in the heavyweight division Team Miocic isn’t so certain the former UFC champion will be as hard to beat as he once was. This is according to Miocic’s head coach, Marcus Marinelli, who believes his fighter will be the better striker in a potential clash with “Bones.”
“I think Stipe’s standup could shut down Jones, and just the size. Stipe is a very efficient 230-something pounds,” Marinelli explained to ESPN. “He is extremely strong, stronger than anyone Jones has ran up against so far. And Stipe doesn’t move like a heavyweight, he moves like a middleweight. So, Jones wouldn’t have a speed advantage.”
Miocic, who is fresh off a unanimous decision win over Daniel Cormier in their trilogy bout at UFC 252, is widely considered the best heavyweight fighter of all time. Since making his UFC debut back in 2011, Miocic has posted a staggering record of 14-3 with nine knockout finishes, six title fight wins, four title defenses, and finishes over four former UFC heavyweight champions. His success has been quite incredible, especially when you consider Miocic’s middle-of-the-line size as a heavyweight.
Still, regardless of his past accolades, Miocic is already a betting underdog in a potential matchup with Jones, as well as Ngannou. It seems silly considering Jones has never competed in the weight class before and Miocic already has a win over Ngannou, but the UFC champion always seems to be fighting an uphill battle when it comes to recognition.
If things play out the way right way Miocic will have his chance to prove he’s a better fighter than Jones in the very near future. All he has to do is get past Ngannou for a second time and hope Lesnar doesn’t wiggle his way in for a superfight with “Bones.”