Jon Jones was front and center for Jan Blachowicz’s attempt to lay claim to the No. 1 contender spot at light heavyweight, and the reigning champion was more than pleased to see a new challenger emerge.
After Blachowicz vanquished Corey Anderson via first-round knockout in the UFC Fight Night 167 headliner in Rio Rancho, N.M., on Saturday night, Jones appeared to be fired up as he and the Polish fighter shared a moment in the aftermath of the bout.
“I though he [Blachowicz] looked great. He looked tremendous. Crisp boxing, great takedown defense. He just looked really good,” Jones said during a backstage interview on ESPN+. “I was happy to see Corey Anderson eat his words. He’s been talking so much trash.”
Prior to UFC Fight Night 167, Anderson mentioned that he was looking forward to being the one to defeat Jones after the champion had a close call against Dominick Reyes at UFC 247 one week prior . However, a short right hook from Blachowicz sent Anderson to the back of the line of contenders at 205 pounds.
Jan has great knockout power, very technical,” Jones said. “His fundamentals are very sharp. I think he’s gonna be a great opponent.”
Blachowicz has won seven of his last eight UFC appearances, a run that includes recent knockout wins against Anderson and Luke Rockhold. Still, it’s not a given that he will be the next title challenger, as the close nature of Reyes’ loss to Jones could make an immediate rematch appealing to UFC brass.
Jones believes a showdown with Blachowicz is well within the realm of possibility.
“I could totally see the UFC matching us up with each other,” he said. “What better way to make a claim for the title than to get a knockout like that. I’ve got a feeling the UFC is gonna be giving me a call real soon.”
Regardless of what the future holds, Jones sounds eager to take on the next challenge.
“It’s gonna be great. Whoever I fight, I’m excited,” Jones said.
“I’m just gonna wait to see what the UFC comes up with. I’m ready to go. I’m fully healed from my last fight. My face, body, mind, heart is ready to go, so let’s do this.”