Leading up to his first title defense of 2020, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones believes he should be considered the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
Appearing on ESPN's First Take, Bones compared his overall body of work to undefeated UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov:
"I think Khabib's an amazing fighter. He's done a great job representing UFC. He's a great ambassador for our sport. But if you were to ask some MMA experts about myself and Khabib, I think most people would be able to tell our resumes are completely different. I've fought so many world champions that I've defeated. Khabib, a lot of his victories are against a lot of people that are relatively unknown. I've been fighting legends since I was a young man."
ESPN's pound-for-pound rankings have both stars tied for first as Jones prepares to fight Dominick Reyes at UFC 247 on Saturday night in Houston.
Nurmagomedov owns a 28-0 career record (12-0 in the UFC) and has held the lightweight crown since April 2018 when he defeated Al Iaquinta.
Jones' record of 25-1 (one no-contest) is impressive. His lone defeat was on a disqualification for illegal elbows against Matt Hamill in 2009. The 32-year-old's resume includes multiple failed drug tests, including one for turinabol after his UFC 214 win over Daniel Cormier that caused the result to be overturned to a no-contest.
Since returning to the Octagon after a 17-month layoff in December 2018, Jones has won all three of his fights. His dominance in the 205-pound weight class has led to calls for him to try the heavyweight division.
Jones once again teased moving up in weight on First Take, saying: "In order to put a lot of this pound-for-pound or 'who's the greatest' to rest, I'm gonna have to maybe obtain a second belt in a different weight class. I think that would really set me apart from a lot of guys. The move's inevitable."
When Jones' bout with Reyes was announced in December, he told reporters that fighting at heavyweight was a "very strong possibility" at some point in 2020.
Jones recently told ESPN's Ariel Helwani, "I really want to fight [heavyweight champion] Stipe Miocic."
Miocic is expected to return at some point this year after he suffered retina injuries due to inadvertent eye pokes from Daniel Cormier in their matchup at UFC 241.
Assuming Jones beats Reyes (12-0, 7 KOs), he could challenge himself by taking on the best heavyweight fighter UFC has to offer in his next bout.