UFC Light Heavyweight Jon Jones retained his championship belt Saturday night in the main event at UFC 239 with a split decision victory over opponent Thiago Santos.
The pound-for-pound king was challenged like never before claiming,
“Oh my goodness. Boy was he tough. I had to play it smart. He was technically a lot more sound than I thought. He’s been doing kickboxing way longer than me.”
After a hard fought battle, the verdict on the judges scorecards’ proved Jones the champion of the Light Heavyweight division once again, improving his professional MMA record to 25-1-1 and continuing his supremacy over the division.
Chandler Jones, NFL linebacker for the Arizona Cardinals and younger brother to Jon, was also a ringside presence. Chandler helped his wounded brother out of the octagon at the end of the taxing five round bout.
What’s Next For Jon Jones?
So what’s next for the champion? A number of paths forward were outlined in the post-fight press conference. Daniel Cormier, long-time rival of Jon who currently holds the UFC’s Heavyweight belt, was atop the list of future opponents. When asked by the press if Jon would entertain a fight with the winner of August’s Heavyweight title bout, Jones replied
There’s no questioning the appetite for a super fight between Jones and the Heavyweight winner. When asked about fighting Daniel Cormier in a trilogy bout, or challenger Jon stated
“The only reason it hasn’t happened is because of UFC scheduling. When the UFC is ready for the fight, they know they have two guys who are willing and able.”
The press confirmed that if Miocic were to win at UFC 241, a super fight would still be on the table. Jones said smiling,
“Absolutely, I would fight Stipe as well. I’d rather fight Daniel because I feel I have his recipe, but I’d fight Stipe too.”