One very interested observer of UFC 226 this past weekend was Jon Jones, who saw his bitter rival Daniel Cormier become the heavyweight champion of the world with a first round KO against Stipe Miocic, and according to his manager Malki Kawa, the former 205lb champ is excited at what that might mean for his own future.
“I guess now we can say welcome to the club. He’s actually a champion,” Kawa said on The MMA Hour show on ESPN. “He won the Heavyweight championship and no one can take that way from him, he is the heavyweight champion of the world.
“So that was one thing. He said, ‘Malk, this is the best that that could’ve happened because now I have the choice to come back and kick his ass at Light Heavyweight or heavyweight.’ So he was just happy, excited.”
Jones still has to sort out his immediate future with USADA, as he’s still suspended for the time being as he awaits arbitration, before he can fully plan out what comes next, but it seems he’s happy to now have more than one option to look into if and when he does get the greenlight to return.
“When you beat a guy twice and the second time was more than convincing than the first time, Jon is not the type of guy that says ‘It should’ve been me,’” Kawa said. “He says, ‘Great, now it’s my time to come back and it’s my choice to be heavyweight or light heavyweight.’ And that’s awesome.”
If Jones to fight Cormier at heavyweight he’ll have to get in line though, as DC already looks set to defend his title against the returning Brock Lesnar next, although it could be January of 2019 before that fight will take place.