20 Nov Jon Jones believes he is two wins away from being G.O.A.T.
UFC Light Heavyweight kingpin Jon Jones could be the most hated champion in MMA history. But even his most impassioned cynics could not deny that he is a once-in-a-generation kind of talent and may very well be– at the very least– in the conversation of being the greatest of all-time.
For ‘Bones’, though, the GOAT distinction could come as early as next year, when he takes out Daniel Cormier and Alexander Gustaffson, in that order. By then, as for Jones’ estimate, he would’ve swept clean the division which would make his assertion tough to contend with.
“I’m right around the corner,” Jones said, per ESPN’s Brett Okamoto. “I need to finish the race, and the race, for me, is [Cormier] and Alexander.
“As far as being the greatest of all time, I think me beating Gustafsson and DC — how do you argue that? The argument is just gone, you know what I mean? I do believe I have the best résumé in the sport’s history. I don’t think anyone has beaten as many [former] champions as I have.
“To go on what I’ve already done and beat DC and Gustafsson? I just think no matter who your favorite is, you can’t deny I’m the best in the game.”
Jones and Cormier will headline UFC 182 in Las Vegas on January 3 and should (hopefully) pick up where they left off after that media day scrum that went viral a few months back. Waiting for his cue to get another shot at the champ, Gustafsson will first have to stretch out his muscles for Anthony “Rumble” Johnson on the 24th later that month.
Win or lose, the Swede was promised a title shot by the UFC brass after he gave Jones the toughest fight yet to date, losing a controversial decision in a back-and-forth war. For Jones, there’s no need to look beyond Gus and DC even if there is someone new popping out in the horizon.
“Me beating Gustafsson and DC would be,’OK, this dude beat the baddest dudes of the last 10 years. He’s beat them all,’ Jones continues.
“There’s always going to be a new guy, right? You beat DC, Gustafsson — now there’s Anthony [Johnson]. Everybody wants to see me against Anthony. But I mean, after those two [Cormier and Gustafsson], I would consider the division cleared.”
If Gustafsson beats Johnson at UFC on Fox 14, that will promptly make Jones’ life easier and then he could go on to the next chapter of plans: a ‘superfight’ against Cain Velasquez and reside in the heavyweight class for good.
Jones said he has assessed himself against some heavyweights and is confident he will do very well against most of them. But then again, he also kept it real, indicating his first legit loss could possibly come against the hands of the behemoths, while naming one guy he feels he can keep in step with size-wise: the newly-crowned interim Heavyweight champion.
“There are definitely a lot of heavyweights that I know I would beat. A lot of heavyweights that could give me a hell of a run or possibly beat me,” said Jones. “I’m smaller than these guys. A guy like Werdum, I would fight him every day, all day. Why? Because he’s not the biggest guy. But the heavyweights I believe would give me the hardest time are the big ones. Not necessarily the better skilled ones — just the bigger ones.
“You shoot in and they sprawl out on you, that’s going to take a lot of energy to finish that shot, you know what I mean?”
Upon catching wind of Jones’ statement, Fabricio Werdum said he would welcome a fight with the New York native but recognized the comment wasn’t exactly a call out. After all, the fight would not exactly mean much given the real heavyweight champ is on the mend and a unification bout wouldn’t be up until the middle of next year.
If Werdum does handle Velasquez, would it make Jones’ personal story book turn for the better or for worse? Only time can tell, but that sure makes one hell of a plot.
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