Jon Jones holds victories over everybody in the lightweight division who has been put on his path, and the list of names left in his wake reads like a who’s who in the division’s history: Quinton Jackson, Lyoto Mashida, Rashad Evans, Vitor Belfort, Alexander Gustafsson, and of course Daniel Cormier among others. One legendary name that eluded him, however, is that of Chuck Lidell, whose UFC run came to an end before Jones’ meteoric rise as the light heavyweight king. Speaking with the MMA Hour, Chuck Lidell officially announced that he has come out of retirement. Lidell did not stop there, however. As if informing the MMA world that he is willing to resume his fighting career at 48 years of age was not enough to digest, Lidell went one step further, saying that his end goal would be a fight with Jon Jones himself:
“To be honest, I’d like to fight two good warm-up fights, and I’d like a shot at Jon.” In case any spectator thought Lidell was possibly joking, he swiftly put that thought to bed, continuing, “I’m serious. I’d like a shot at him.”
While this proclamation is enough to make even Lidell’s biggest supporters do a double take, Lidell does acknowledge that this match would have been more ideal in the past: “In my prime, I think I would have matched up with him perfect.” Although Lidell may not be as certain about how he matches up with Jones today, he would like to find out: “Right now, I don’t know, but I’d like to take a shot at it.”
It did not take Jon Jones long to catch wind of Lidell’s words, prompting “Bones” to take to Twitter and invite Lidell to Albuquerque at no expense to the Hall of Famer, whenever he is ready:
Old Chuck has been calling me out for years! I get it, I hold pretty much every record in the division. I normally try to respect my elders but if you want it come get it. Id literally fly you out to Albuquerque this weekend.
— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) May 14, 2018
One of many hurdles from a Jon Jones/Chuck Lidell fight actually happening is Dana White himself, who has been consistent about his position that Chuck Lidell should remain retired. When approached on UFC Unfiltered with the news of Lidell potentially competing under an Oscar De La Hoya MMA promotion, White responded,
“I get it. Everybody sees what’s going on, everybody wants a piece, and I hope that’s the case. What I do hope is that he is partnering up with Chuck Liddell and they are going to be partners other than have Chuck Liddell come in and fight. If they are going to partner up in the MMA business, nothing will make me happier. That is awesome and I would love to hear if that is true for Chuck. If he plans on kicking off his MMA program with Chuck fighting, that would not be good and really, really bum me out. Chuck Liddell is almost 50 years old, he doesn’t need to be fighting.”
If Oscar De La Hoya is not the man to get Lidell back into competition and if Dana White does not budge on his position, Jon Jones has personally stepped forward to give Chuck Lidell the opportunity he’s been asking for whenever the legend is ready to make the commute to Albuquerque on Jones’ dime.
Would you be interested in a fight between Jon Jones and Chuck Lidell in 2018?