Will Jon Jones meet Brock Lesnar in the Octagon within the next 12 months? The odds say yes.
Monday, sportsbook Bovada released two notable betting lines centering on a hypothetical future fight between the Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight king Jones and the former UFC heavyweight champion Lesnar. The proposition “Will Jon Jones face Brock Lesnar in the UFC before July 15, 2018?” has the affirmative as the favorite at -160, while the “No” option is +120. Assuming the bout does take place, Bovada has released a line its opening line on the future clash, with Jones as a -350 favorite and Lesnar a +265 underdog.
Jones returned to action at UFC 214 this past Saturday night in Anaheim, California, knocking rival Daniel Cormier out in the third round to regain the UFC 205-pound title. It was the first fight for “Bones” in 17 months, following his positive U.S. Anti-Doping Agency test for banned substances clomiphene and letrozole prior to his slated rematch with Cormier at UFC 200. UFC 200 was also the last time Lesnar saw MMA action: the World Wrestling Entertainment star returned from a nearly five-year hiatus to win a unanimous decision over Mark Hunt. Lesnar tested positive for clomiphene following the bout and was suspended 12 months, fined $250,000 and had his win overturned to a no contest.
A Jones-Lesnar bout was on no one's radar until just days before UFC 214. During a Facebook Live chat, the 30-year-old Jones commented that he was interested in a hypothetical bout with Lesnar if he ever returned to the cage.
“It would be a massive draw, really big for the sport. It would be a great challenge. That's a big old boy,” said Jones. “I doubt Brock Lesnar would take that fight, though. I definitely wouldn't try to wrestle with him the whole time. I'm not going to tell you what I would do.”
Lesnar quickly offered comment to the Associated Press on the matter.
"Would I fight Jon Jones? Anytime, anywhere. Right now he should be worried about D.C. on Saturday night,” Lesnar told the AP.
On Saturday night after triumphing over Cormier, Jones continued to advance the idea of a Lesnar showdown.
“Brock 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,” Jones boasted from the cage.
“Be careful what you wish for, young man,” Lesnar replied shortly after the bout, once again offering comment to the AP.