A fight that seemed like a pipe dream prior to UFC 214 seems to be gaining momentum.
Shortly after the conclusion of his second triumph over Daniel Cormier in the evening’s main event at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., Jon Jones delivered a callout of Brock Lesnar that came complete with a mic drop.
“I’m up for it. I think it’s about time for me to be involved in a superfight,” Jones said later in an interview on Fox Sports 1. “I think that’s what the fans really want to see is me challenge myself against a heavyweight. Why not do it against the biggest, one of the most scary heavyweights in UFC history in Brock Lesnar? He brings a tremendous following. I just think it would be so great for the sport.”
The hypothetical matchup took on a life of its own last week when Jones answered a fan query during a UFC chat on Facebook by admitting that he’d love to fight Brock Lesnar. However, “Bones” also said he didn’t think the former heavyweight king would accept such a fight, to which Lesnar responded in a a separate interview that he’d fight Jones “anytime, anywhere.”
After Jones told Lesnar “if you want to know what it feels like to get your ass kicked by a guy who weighs 40 pounds less than you, meet me in the Octagon,” at the end of Saturday’s pay-per-view broadcast, the massive North Dakota native delivered a message of his own.
“Be careful what you wish for, young man,” Lesnar told the Associated Press.
In hindsight, Jones isn’t sure how things got to this point, but now that people are talking, it appears as though he’d like to seriously pursue a showdown with Lesnar.
“I have no clue where this Brock Lesnar situation came from, how it started. But it got serious really quick,” he said. “…But my team at Jackson-Wink they said, ‘You can win that fight, you’re gonna dig deep you’re gonna have to take your self belief to a higher level. You’re gonna have to earn this fight.’ We made up our mind that we were serious about it. I think it would be great for the MMA world. It would bring more of the general public to mixed martial arts and that’s what we need. We need to expand our sport. Why not be the guy to play a part in that?”
As Jones ran roughshod over the light heavyweight division earlier in his career, he was often asked about a potential move to heavyweight. Such a move never came to fruition, but Lesnar appears to be a more attractive option to Jones than even the reigning heavyweight champion, Stipe Miocic.
“I feel like if I was to take a fight at heavyweight, it would be against a person that I would feel is the perfect matchup for me..I strike for a reason when I strike. I feel like Stipe is relatively unknown to the general public, so it wouldn’t even be a real super fight,” Jones said. “I think MMA fans would be really excited about that fight, but the general public wouldn’t care about that fight. Most people don’t really know who he is, with all due respect to him. If I’m going sacrifice being the smaller guy, then Brock would be a fight would make way more sense. The payday would be tremendous and what it would do for our sport would be tremendous. It would have a much greater effect.”
That said, Lesnar announced his retirement from the UFC after failing a pair of drug tests in relation to UFC 200 last summer. That means his one-year suspension from USADA will remain frozen until he elects to end his retirement and re-enter the drug-testing pool.
“It’s fun to talk about, but the reality of it happening anytime soon, it’s not a reality,” UFC President Dana White said.