‘Maybe Someone Goes That Next Level’- Coach Reveals the Only Way Jon Jones Will Ever Return to the Light Heavyweight Division

Published 08/09/2021, 11:52 AM EDT
HOUSTON, TEXAS – FEBRUARY 08: Jon Jones celebrates his victory over Dominick Reyes in their light heavyweight championship bout during the UFC 247 event at Toyota Center on February 08, 2020 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones is gearing up for his debut in the heavyweight division. Jones, who hasn’t fought for the promotion since last February last year, is at loggerheads with UFC over a compensation dispute. This difference with promotion, along with his own interests, will keep him away at least till next year.

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There is no doubt Jones is one of the greatest to step foot inside the octagon. But even after considering his standards, it won’t be an effortless task for him to make a sudden impact on the shark-filled division.

But no matter how well he does in the heavyweights, no one could forget his accomplishments in the light heavyweights. So, the fans will be always interested in his move back to the conquered division.

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In a recent interview with Submission Radio, hosted by Kacper Rosolowski and Denis Shkuratov, Jones’ coach, Mike Wilkenjohn, revealed the chances of him coming back to his favorite division. “I think he needs to be really motivated to do it. I don’t see it right now… he got to start losing muscle mass before the cut. And that can take some time to do it right. I don’t see it happening at all if I tell you the truth,” the coach said.

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“Maybe someone goes (to) that next level in the light heavyweight division…don’t get me wrong, they are great, but something that’s just, ‘that’s the one’… I think he’s not motivated by anybody in the light heavyweight division at the moment,” he added.

Who could Jon Jones face in his heavyweight debut?

While Jones (26-1) has made it clear, he would be after the belt, it’s not always the case that you get what you want. So let us try to figure out who he could face once he makes his debut.

The first name could be Ngannou or Ciryl Gane. Both former training partners will collide for the unification title match sometime later this year. With Jones eyeing next year for the gold, the winner could face him next.

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LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JULY 06: Jon Jones of the United States looks on after his after their UFC Light Heavyweight Title bout with Thiago Santos of Brazil at T-Mobile Arena on July 06, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Jones defeated Santos by decision. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

The second name could be former champion Stipe Miocic. The Ohio native has reportedly agreed to face Jones, but it remains to be seen if Jones wants it. Stipe, like Jones, wants a title shot and this fight, if it happens, could be a title eliminator.

It will really depend on UFC on how they want to take this situation forward. These are some testing times and a problem of plenty for the promotion.

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What did you make of Jones’ coach take on his return?

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Akshyay Srichandan Mahapatra

552 articles

Akshyay Mahapatra is a UFC author for EssentiallySports. He wished to combine his passion for the UFC (that he has been following since 2008) as well as his love for writing. This motivated him to enter the world of combat sports journalism.

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