In a new interview UFC Light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones has declared in no uncertain terms that he’s unhappy at the idea of having a rematch with Lyoto Machida.
Machida earned a second chance to compete for Jones title with an impressive KO win over Ryan Bader at UFC On FOX 4 recently, but if it was down to the champion he wouldn’t be next in line.
“I don’t want to fight Lyoto Machida,” Jones tells ESPN. “He was my lowest pay-per-view draw of last year.
“No one wants to see me fight Lyoto Machida. I don’t want to fight Lyoto again. Lyoto is high risk and low reward.
“He’s a tough fighter, but no one wants to buy that fight.”
When asked if he would take the fight Jones answered, “I don’t even know. I don’t know how to answer that right now.”
Whether he wants to or not, if the UFC tells him that’s next (and given the fact that Dana White announced Machida was next in line live on FOX then you’d have to believe it is) , then there’s not a lot he can do about it.
I could understand if Jones didn’t want to fight Machida because he’s already defeated him, but I can’t say I’m overly impressed to hear him say that it’s purely down to money and the fear of losing. If you’re the champion your supposed to defend your title against the best challengers available.
The biggest question for me though is who Jones would like to fight next if not Machida?
There wouldn’t be any more interest if he was to rematch ‘Shogun’ or a fresh challenger like Alexander Gustafsson, he doesn’t think Chael Sonnen has earned the right to a title shot yet and he’s already refused to entertain the idea of what would be a blockbuster showdown with middleweight champ Anderson Silva.
The only other option would be a move up to heavyweight – something he talks about as being inevitable in the future, though it was believed to be something that was going to happen a few years down the line.
If that’s a step he’s now contemplating in order to continue to challenge himself then I’m all for it and would respect his courage and competitive drive, but otherwise, if he’s just intending to camp out at 205lbs and pick and choose his opponents as he sees fit then it might be time for Dana White to have a quiet word.