Jon Jones current legal issues pertaining to a hit and run crash in Alberquerque on Sunday have put his upcoming title fight against Anthony Johnson at UFC 187 in jeopardy and has left his opponent in an awkward spot.
This title fight was a dream come true for ‘Rumble’ Johnson who took out Phil Davis, Anotonio Rogerio Nogueira and Alexander Gustafsson to earn the opportunity and if Jones is now pulled from the event Johnson’s not willing to give up his shot at the belt.
“I only want to fight for the title,” Johnson told ‘UFC Tonight’. “I feel like I’ve worked my way up to being the No. 1 contender, and I plan on staying that way. Unless it’s for a title, I don’t want to be like Vitor and wait a year. But if I have to, I will.”
That might not sit too well with the UFC though. Let’s not forget that Johnson’s last opponent, Gustafsson, was prevented from sitting on the sidelines waiting for a shot at the title last year, so it’s unlikely to be an option for ‘Rumble’ either.
So far the UFC are keeping a low profile and haven’t indicated that they will scrap the fight, but pressure is growing for them to hand Jones some kind of fitting punishment for his actions to show that they don’t condone his behavior and set an example to others that no-one in the promotion is above the law.
There’s even been talk that Jones may be stripped off his title, and no doubt ‘Rumble’ had that in mind when he made those comments last night.
If Jones did lose his belt then Johnson would be heading straight into a fight to crown a new champion, with perhaps the upcoming fight between Daniel Cormier (No.3) and Ryan Bader (No.6) in June establishing who he’d be going up against, or potentially that fight could be scrapped and Johnson Vs Cormier could go down at UFC 187.
Anything’s possible and so for now though Johnson says he’s just continuing to prepare to fight on May 23rd until he’s told otherwise.
“Nothing’s changed,” Johnson said. “I’m still training hard, staying focused, staying on the grind. Like I said, whoever they give me, whatever they throw my way, I’ll be ready no matter what.”