In August, Jones (25-1 MMA, 20-1 UFC) vacated his UFC light heavyweight title with the intention of moving up to heavyweight, but since then, no official talks for an opponent have been made public.
UFC president Dana White reiterated that Francis Ngannou is the next challenger to champion Stipe Miocic, which means Jones likely won’t get an immediate title shot unless he waits for the winner of that fight, which does not yet have a scheduled date.
But Cormier, a former UFC dual champion, has a different suggestion for Jones’ heavyweight debut. With this past weekend’s headliner between Curtis Blaydes and Derrick Lewis falling off due to Blaydes testing positive for COVID-19, Cormier thinks that fight should be scrapped altogether in favor of Blaydes being the one to welcome Jones to the heavyweight division.
“Move Blaydes to Jones, Lewis to (Jairzinho) Rozenstruik” Cormier said on ESPN’s “DC and Helwani” show. “Those are two real good fights. It makes all the sense in the world because one, Jones beats Blaydes, nobody will ever say he doesn’t belong at heavyweight. Blaydes beats Jones, now he has beaten the greatest of all time in people’s mind going up to heavyweight; he’ll get his title shot right away. I think that’s what you should do.”
He continued, “Derrick’s gonna get taken down by Curtis Blaydes over and over again. It’s what’s gonna happen, but if Derrick fights Jairzinho Rozenstruik, they’re gonna be standing and banging in that small octagon. This makes all the sense in the world.”
Cormier initially suggested that Jones vs. Blaydes should be the co-main event to Miocic vs. Ngannou with the intention of having Jones there as a reserve but went on to retract his statement and admitted that Jones should certainly headline his own event.
“Jones’ heavyweight debut needs to be a main event,” Cormier said. “Put him in the pay-per-view the month before Ngannou (vs.) Stipe. … If Jon Jones is fighting in the main event, it’s a pay-per-view. Belt or no belt.”
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