Dana White’s recent revelation that Jon Jones would get to face the winner of the Stipe Miocic-Francis Ngannou bout didn’t come as a surprise to Curtis Blaydes.
Miocic and Ngannou will square off in the UFC 260 headliner on March 27, and if all goes as planned Jones will get a chance to vie for heavyweight gold against the winner sometime in the summer. That leaves a contender like Blaydes, who will be gunning for his fifth consecutive triumph in the UFC Fight Night 185 main event agianst Derrick Lewis, on the outside looking in.
“I expected it. It’s Jon Jones. He's a money fight," Blaydes told ESPN. "If he wants to fight for the belt, yeah, he gets to fight for the belt. I'm not shocked. Do I think it's the most fair thing? No, but that's not what this business is about. It’s not about fair and who’s earned what.”
Jones, who is widely regarded as the greatest light heavyweight of all-time, vacated his belt last year in anticipation of a move to heavyweight. It’s not unusual for a champion from another division to get a quick title shot when they change weight classes. Case in point: reigning middleweight champ Israel Adesanya is getting a 205-pound title shot against Jan Blachowicz at UFC 259 without a light heavyweight win to his credit.
“I think Glover Teixeira at light heavyweight, he should’ve been next,” Blaydes said. “But hey, Izzy wants to bump up, you let Izzy bump up. It works like that for all weight classes. I wasn’t shocked at all.”
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