Light-heavyweight star Jon Jones is considered one of the most talented young fighters in the sport, and if he continues on his current course a title shot could come sooner rather than later.
That’s the opinion of UFC president Dana White while speaking at a Q&A session today prior to the UFC 120 weigh-ins.
“Jon Jones is an incredibly talented guy,” told fans in London, England. “He’s very young, he’s got some fights ahead of him, plus that’s an incredibly stacked division. He’s going to have to go through a couple of guys before he gets a title shot, but at the rate Jon Jones is going he could be fighting for the title next year.”
The next fight on his road to the title was expected to be another up and coming force at 205lbs, Ryan Bader at UFC 126 on February 5th, but according to Dana that fight may not materialize.
“I don’t know if Jones is going to fight Bader. We tried to put that fight together, but Bader has some stuff going on. Jon Jones might be fighting somebody else, I don’t know how that’s going to go.”
Apparently his upcoming wedding plus the opening of a new gym are the reasons behind Bader’s reluctance to sign on for the fight.
So it seems we might be back to square one with regards to an opponent for Jones, and with the likes of Shogun Vs Evans and Franklin Vs Griffin already scheduled for early next year it’s not immediately obvious who ‘Bones’ could get instead.
The winner of November’s Machida Vs Rampage fight perhaps? Randy Couture? Despite his recent loss Antonio Rogerio Nogueira could also be a solid stepping stone.
With the cat now out of the bag it shouldn’t be long before the UFC make alternative arrangements for the talented 23 year-old if required.