Jon Jones Will Defend Light Heavyweight Title Next After Toe Injury Heals

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Jon Jones Will Defend Light Heavyweight Title Next After Toe Injury Heals
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Jon Jones may be healing a mangled toe, but he's already eyeing the record he so desperately wants to break to be considered the greatest light heavyweight champion in MMA history.

In his last fight at UFC 159 in April, Jones suffered one of the most horrific injuries during his victory over Chael Sonnen.  The dislocated toe looked like something out of a horror film, but amazingly enough, the diagnosis wasn't as nearly as bad as the image that showed Jones' toe dangling from his foot.

Now a few weeks removed from the injury, Jones is healing quickly.  If time permits, he might even surprise a few people with the schedule he keeps this year.

"Everything's good.  He's got to be in the boot for about six weeks, about five weeks now left to go and then he gets to take it off and he'll test his foot and we'll see what's next," Jones' manager Malki Kawa told MMA's Great Debate Radio this week. 

"For right now he's just anxious to get that boot off and make sure his toe is good to go.  As long as he feels good coming off that boot and when he goes to put pressure on it, he can walk without a boot, and his toe is strong and everything’s good there then it shouldn't (delay his return).  One thing about Jon is he's not going to take any chances whatsoever.  As long as his foot heals properly and he's got no issues with it, it shouldn't delay anything.

"I'll just tell you this, I wouldn't be surprised if Jon fights two more times this year.  That's very aggressive and I know that's crazy, but it's something that he discussed with me and we talked about it.  I told Superman to relax a little bit, you're injured right now, but he's got an aggressive timeline in his head. Certain goals and accomplishments that he wants and we're looking to get that record."

The record that Kawa is speaking about is the one currently held by both Jones and former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz for title defenses in the 205-pound division.  Both fighters defended the belt five times, but with one more win in the weight class, the record will belong solely to Jones.

It's something the UFC's reigning light heavyweight champion has talked about numerous times, and that goal is still his top priority right now.  While there may be a move to heavyweight one day or even the potential for superfights in the future, Jones wants to be defined as the best ever at 205 pounds before moving on to conquer the rest of the MMA world.

"The truth and the fact of the matter is before we can talk any superfight or any move in weight class or anything to that effect, Jon Jones wants to win his next fight at light heavyweight, he wants to break that record, he wants to own that record solely.  He wants to be considered the greatest light heavyweight of all time at this point," Kawa stated.  "I already think he is the greatest light heavyweight of all time, record or no record. 

"That being said, he's got to win that next fight, after that me and Jon will sit down and we'll take the next route and see what the next opportunity is for his career."

While Jones fighting at light heavyweight may seem to squash everyone's hopes for a potential superfight later this year against middleweight champion Anderson Silva, it doesn't necessarily eliminate that from happening.  If Jones vs. Silva were to take place, it's likely the Brazilian legend would be the one moving up to 205 pounds to accept the challenge.

Silva is currently locked up at middleweight for his fight at UFC 162 against Chris Weidman, so Kawa and Jones are looking forward to a challenge in the light heavyweight division and the crop of current contenders.

"His next fight is at light heavyweight and his next fight will be against somebody that's considered the No. 1 guy," Kawa stated.  "He'll get that next defense and once he breaks that record, after that all the speculation can happen.

"I think he really wants to fight Alexander Gustafsson next.  Alexander called him out and I think Jon has said in numerous interviews that he would like to fight him next.  We're just going to wait and see what happens."

Despite his foot being in a protective boot, Jones isn't slowing down in his off time.  The 205-pound champion has been traveling the country with his manager looking at new potential sponsors and endorsement deals while letting his toe heal.  The business of Jon Jones is flourishing just like his fight career, and the sky is the limit for this talented and gifted athlete.

Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report, and all quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.

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