Jon Jones could have two title defenses in the first half of 2015. | Photo: Wilson Fox/Sherdog.com
Jon Jones’ light heavyweight title defense against newly-minted No. 1 contender Anthony Johnson will likely take place at a UFC event in May.
UFC President Dana White revealed the news during a Wednesday appearance on “The Jim Rome Show.”
“We’re looking to do that fight in May,” said White. “I don’t have the exact date, but May.”
Originally, a featherweight title showdown between reigning champ Jose Aldo and rising star Conor McGregor was expected to headline the promotion’s traditional Memorial Day Weekend event, but McGregor’s trainer, John Kavanagh, recently said that the fight could take place as late as July.
That opens the door for Jones-Johnson to be the main event of the May 23 card, UFC 187, in Las Vegas, although such a booking is far from official at this point in time.
Johnson earned his opportunity with a first-round stoppage of Alexander Gustafsson at UFC on Fox 14 this past Saturday. “Rumble” has won three straight since setting up shop in the UFC’s 205-pound weight class.
“It’s not like he was a world-beater at 170 or a world beater at 185,” White told Rome. “If you know anything about fighting, every time you move up, you lose a little bit of power. It’s been the exact opposite for this guy. Him beating Alexander Gustafsson the way he did makes no sense whatsoever.”
Jones, meanwhile, last defended his title at UFC 182, scoring a five-round unanimous decision over Daniel Cormier in Las Vegas. The Jackson-Wink representative has successfully defended his belt eight times since earning the strap with a win over Mauricio Rua at UFC 128.