after Jon Jones dispensed with Vladimir Matyushenko in a little under two minutes last night many people are now calling for the 23 year-old to be given a significant step up in competition.
It appears that the fighter himself, and his coach, world renowned trainer Greg Jackson, have differing opinions on how he should proceed from here though.
“Yeah, absolutely,” Jones said with no hesitation when asked by Sherdog reporter TJ Desantis whether he was now ready for a top five contender at 205lbs. “My fights have been going really well, you know.
“As I said it’s a testament to the hard work and dedication…but, not to sound arrogant – and that’s the last thing I would ever want – but these fights have been going really fast so I think it will take a top 5 guy to make it a great fight, and that’s what I’m looking for. I’m looking for that war, I’m looking for that experience, and a top 5 guy would be good for me I feel.”
It’s hard to argue with him given the dominance he’s displayed in the octagon so far. Having said that one of the men who knows him best, Greg Jackson, is a little more cautious and feels he’d like him to continue to develop at a steady pace rather than be propelled to the top of the division.
“My opinion is I would like to take our time with him, not go to fast,” Jackson tells Sherdog.com. “You know, get everything right and bring him up the right way.”
This is also a valid point. Jackson sees him in training every day and no doubt knows the weaknesses in his game that, though they haven’t been shown clearly in his fights to date, must exist given that Jones at this point has only been fighting professionally for a little over 2 years.
Overall though it does appear as if Jones will require a tougher opponent in order to really test himself and grow as a fighter, and it looks like that is going to happen with Dana White ready to give him a step up in competition after last night’s performance.
“When the smoke clears and the dust settles, Jon Jones will fight one of the top eight guys in the world for his next fight,” White told The Daily Line show last night.
Watch the full post-fight interviews with both Jones and Jackson below.