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Jon Jones: “You can’t say I’ve cleaned out the division because I haven’t. I simply haven’t.”

Light heavyweight champion Jon Jones will put his UFC title up for grabs in less than two weeks when he faces Dan Henderson in the main event at UFC 151. If “Bones” gets by the always-game Henderson he will find himself in an interesting position where the division’s remaining contenders involve opponents he’s already beaten soundly or rising stars who haven’t quite achieved the level of success necessary to be seen as a legitimate challenger.

However, in Jones’ eyes there are still plenty of tough tests left for him at 205 pounds even if no one individual has emerged as a clear cut threat to his reign at the top.

Phil Davis lost to Rashad (Evans), and I beat Rashad, but that doesn’t mean Phil Davis won’t give me the fight of my life. Or (Alexander) Gustafsson. He’s tall, I’m tall, and he’s got long arms. Maybe that would be interesting to see. Or Glover Teixiera. He hits hard. Maybe that would be interesting,” admitted Jones in an interview with MMAJunkie. “Styles make match-ups. There (are) guys in my gym right now that aren’t in the UFC that make me sweat and bleed. So you can’t say I’ve cleaned out the division because I haven’t. I simply haven’t.”

While the 25-year old may be open to a number of options for fights in the immediate future, one opponent he has no interest in facing at the moment is Chael Sonnen. Sonnen recently announced his decision to move up to light heavyweight for a meeting with Forrest Griffin and has been actively calling Jones out ever since.

“That guy is a joke,” stated Jones blankly. “It’s what he wants, but I’m not going to allow him to get a title fight from talking. It’s not going to happen. Chael Sonnen will not get a title fight from using his mouth.”

“I will make it very clear to everyone that there (are) people who are way more deserving of a shot,” he continued. “If he wants to come into the division, I’d consider him Top 15 among light heavyweights. Let’s see what he’ll do against a wrestler like Phil Davis. Let’s see what he’d do against a wrestler like Rashad or a striker like Lyoto Machida….The light-heavyweight division is a completely different beast. I won’t allow him to just jump the rankings with his mouth. It’s not going to happen.”

PHOTO CREDIT – UFC

12 COMMENTS
  • hindsightufuk says:

    no, he hasnt, well spotted Jon, glad he’s noticed cos there are a lot of dick riders around saying that he has. add to that the division is weaker now than it has been for some time and you can pretty much throw the GOAT argument right out the fucking window. he may actually be better than any LHW who has ever lived, but he still has to prove it far as i’m concerned.

    but then everyone can argue against someone elses opinion so its mute, fuck it

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  • Richard Stabone says:

    If he beats Hendo, he’ll have obliterated the top of the division. There will always be new guys making their way up the ranks, so in a sense it’s impossible to truly clean out a division, but Jones has come pretty damn close. Assuming he gets by Hendo, when the best option for his next title defense is a guy he beat less than a year ago & who has fought only once since, it’s pretty clear the contender well has become pretty dry.

    As for the overall LHW division, I’d say it’s stronger than it’s ever been… both in terms of the champion and the top-to-bottom depth. With the ongoing expansion of the sport, coupled with the UFC’s continued dominance as other orgs fall by the wayside and the global talent gradually funnels to the UFC, I think this is true of pretty much every division. As the talent pool continues to deepen, it seems only natural this will continue, and it makes the run of Anderson & Jones that much more amazing. I think people take these guys for granted; they’re so damn good it’s hard not to wonder if their competition is lacking but I just don’t think that’s the case.

    Jones has torn thru Vera, Mayushenko, Bader, Shogun, Rampage, Machida, Rashad and soon (barring an upset) Hendo. Compare that to the guys Chuck & Tito were beating in their heyday and Bones’ group of victims stacks up very well.

    Of course, Hendo has an opportunity to bring the Jon Jones hype machine to a screeching halt in a couple weeks. I just don’t think there’s anyone that genuinely expects it to happen.

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  • MickeyC says:

    I agree with what Jones is saying. Problem is all these guys are 2 fights and a year away from a shot, with maybe Gustaffson being at the top of the list. He always talks about heaveyweight, maybe he should hop up and face the REEM for his first fight back. Somthing tells me Jones would say NO.

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  • Richard Stabone says:

    And yeah, I’ll always wonder what would have been if Silva and Jones had faced each other in the Octagon. Being as close as they are in size, I think it’ll be one of the bigger shames in the sport’s relatively brief history if these two don’t end up fighting. I don’t expect it will ever happen, but I wish there was more fan ruckus putting pressure on Dana & Co. to make it happen.

    At the end of the day, money still rules all, so if the message boards & twitter crowd & overall MMA community made enough noise, showing potential that this sucker could do 1.5 — 2 million PPV buys, I have no doubt it could realistically happen. For all his faults, when Dana latches onto something & goes after it he usually makes it happen (M1 be damned).

    But while there have been rumblings here & there about this potential super fight, the appetite just doesn’t seem to be that strong from the overall fanbase. I don’t really get it. I guess Jones-Machida II will be pretty awesome.

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  • MCM says:

    I’ll never understand why people think Chael talks his way into fights? If Chael beats Forrest and then one other top 10 LHW he’ll have strung together as many wins as Rampage did to earn a shot, and more than Lyoto and Rua did.

    Back on point, Jones is absolutely right. Gustafsson has done as much as Jones did to earn a shot already, and when he goes through Shogun, people are gonna be screaming for him to take on Jones. I think Davis has potential, but the truth is just hasn’t looked impressive and the UFC hasn’t given him many big names. Teixiera is a freaking monster, and after he shuts Rampages lights off in under 10 min. in Oct, he might be leapfrog Gustafsson as the next title challenger. Even Chael can earn a shot (although I don’t think he’d fair well.)
    I’m presume it’s all the rematch talk that has people saying he’s cleaned out the division. But I blame that more on the UFC not showcasing their “prospects” as there older stars are slowly fading away (Vera/Shogun when Phil Davis was on the card?).

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  • Richard Stabone says:

    1) Re: Chael…

    Chael has already suggested he’ll earn a title shot by beating Forrest. Doesn’t mean it’ll actually happen, but Chael has already started to leverage his hype skills and people are already talking about him in the LHW title picture before he’s had a single fight. The man is good. And Jones should keep his mouth shut about it cuz he’s just playing into Chael’s game.

    2) Re: Jones/Gustafsson

    Jones was relatively unproven when he got his title shot, but the big difference is he was undefeated (other than the DQ for dropping the illegal hammer on The Hammer) while Alex has lost (via 1st round finish). I agree with your general point that Jones’ relative inexperience at the time of his title shot is similar to where Gustafsson is at now, but Alex’s loss was a bump in the road much different than anything Jones has faced, and has to be factored into his path to a title shot. Jones was rushed into a title shot but he had been unchallenged to that point (and the injury circumstances were a key catalyst in Jones getting the shot so early); for Alex since he’s lost a fight he really needs to beat a top guy before getting his shot at the belt.

    So with that being said, I really hope Gustafsson beats Shogun and proves himself worthy. I have little desire to see Jones fight Shogun again, and for Gustafsson the win would propel him to #1 contender status, offering a much-needed fresh challenger for Jones. So it would be two birds with one stone… make it happen, Alex.

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  • AlphaOmega says:

    Pretty sure Chael said he want’s to get in title convention the right way by working his way up and the first stop is through Forrest, not that he’d get a title shot for beating Forrest instantly.

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  • Richard Stabone says:

    Straight from the horse’s mouth.

    Chael: “But there’s something to be said in sportsmanship about earning your shot and on 29th of December I’m gonna go through Forrest Griffin to do it.”

    Watch the video in the article I linked to above… Chael gushes about “guaranteed future Hall of Famer” Forrest Griffin, reminding us Jones has never beaten Forrest, as well as Forrest’s most recent “awesome” performance in beating Tito Ortiz. Good stuff.

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  • MickeyC says:

    No response to my Jones/Reem idea?

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  • Richard Stabone says:

    ^ I think you’ll have to buy the video game for that. :)

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  • jeref says:

    So then by Sonnen’s logic, if Forrest wins, Forrest should get a title shot. I don’t think that would happen either. I do like the idea though, I think that would be an entertaining fight. Flashing back to Forrest taking his mouth piece out to spit blood in the middle of the octogon…

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  • JBAR says:

    Just read that Dan Henderson is out of UFC 151, Sonnen was willing to fight in his place but Jones turned down the fight so 151 was cancelled. It was on Yahoo so take it for what it is worth.

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