There’s been a lot of debate over who Jon Jones next opponent should be since his dominant display against Brandon Vera last month. Should the UFC take it slowly with him and allow him to develop over time, or should now throw him in against the best the 205lb division has to offer?
A new report from The Garv website today suggests that the UFC are looking at the former option, with Belorussian veteran Vladimir Matyushenko being lined up for his next fight.
According to the site Jones will fight ‘The Janitor’ at the UFC’s second live event on the Versus channel which is set to take place in August. Both parties are believed to have verbally agreed to the bout.
It’s certainly not a glamorous choice. The 39 year old Matyushenko has so far been plying his trade in the under-card of UFC events since his return to the promotion, grinding out two decision wins to take his record to 24-4 (5-2 in the UFC).
In many respects it’s a step back down after defeating Vera, but while I’m not particularly enthused by it, I’m glad to see that the UFC are looking to take their time with Jones rather than rush him into title contention.
‘Bones’ is still only 22 years old, and been fighting professionally for just two years, so he’s going to be around for a long time to come. Let’s give him time to develop his skills and gain more cage experience before he takes on the most dangerous opposition in the division.