UFC 165: With a Dominant Win, Jon Jones Will Not Immediately Move to Heavyweight
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Not only would he score a win over the one foe everyone expects to challenge him, but he would also top the records of former UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes and UFC Hall of Famer and current Bellator 106 headliner Tito Ortiz. Ortiz holds the records for most successful defenses, most consecutive successful defenses and most successful wins in UFC light heavyweight title bouts.
Jones knows where it will put him if this, his sixth UFC light heavyweight title defense, goes as planned on Saturday night in Toronto. Should he pass the achievements of Hughes and Ortiz, he will zero in on the current welterweight title record of reigning UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre.
Of course, once that happens, fans will automatically question whether he will finally move to heavyweight.
Rest assured, he will move to heavyweight and put himself in position to earn a shot at the UFC Heavyweight Championship, but he will not do it on the strength of the win over Gustafsson.
Remember, Brazilian light heavyweight prospect Glover Teixeira arguably earned his own crack at Saturday's winner with his win over Ryan Bader just a few weeks ago, and Daniel Cormier has already declared his intentions to face Jones with a win over Roy Nelson at UFC 166.
In short, Jones will have to contend with at least one or two threats to the throne he holds before he can set his sights on the most must-see division in the MMA world.
But knowing Jones, he will not keep his mind off Gustafsson, whose reach disadvantage stands a bit higher than advertised. The fact that we do not know what version of "The Mauler" we will see makes the prospect of Jones at heavyweight all but an "if and only if" situation right now.
Then again, we are speaking of Jon "Bones" Jones, a freak athlete who excels at destroying his opponents either at their own game or by breaking them in areas where they previously held some edge. Thus, he should crush Gustafsson mentally, kill off his hopes of looking like he belongs in the UFC and destroy him physically on Saturday night, just as he did to the men who challenged him before, right?
Come Saturday night, we will find out. Just because Jones can do it, and just because he did it before, doesn't necessarily mean he will do it again. Just the same, just because Gustafsson made easy work of top-ranked individuals before, does not mean he will unseat the champ.
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