Jon Jones has an interesting stance on the never-ending pound-for-pound discussion in mixed martial arts (MMA).
Several drug-related controversies have kept him on the sidelines in recent years. But when he’s fighting, “Bones” is ranked up there with the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport. Many rate him as clearly the best. However, the discussion got a bit more interesting earlier this month when Henry Cejudo beat Marlon Moraes for the vacant bantamweight title at UFC 238.
In doing so, Cejudo became the latest two-division champ in the UFC. The pivotal win capped off an insane 10 months for the Olympic gold medalist. He dethroned former flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson, knocked out TJ Dillashaw in his first title defense, and then beat Moraes to secure a second UFC belt. The win also has him on the precipice of being the UFC’s top pound-for-pound force, something that will always be up for debate.
Jones’ Pound-For-Pound Opinion
But if you ask Jones, it isn’t much of a debate. Speaking up on today’s episode of “Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show,” Jones revealed that he believes Cejudo is now indeed the P4P king. His reasoning was a bit odd, however:
“He is. Absolutely. Hey, I don’t know. Because he called himself that, I’ll give it to him. I feel like I don’t have to say these things if that makes sense. People should say that for you. So if Henry claims it, I guess it’s his.”
Jones wished Cejudo all the best, noting that he followed in Muhammad Ali’s footsteps by declaring himself the greatest. That worked, so ‘Bones’ said Cejudo couldn’t be blamed:
“I wish nothing but the best for him, though. He’s great for the sport, and you know, he wants to be the man, you know? I think he’s taking a page out of Ali’s book by calling himself the man, and it worked for Ali. So let Henry have it as well.”
‘The Messenger’ is absolutely getting close to that rarified air in combat sports, although he technically hasn’t reached the pound-for-pound mountaintop yet. Cejudo will be out of action for presumably the rest of 2019 with shoulder surgery. That leaves his next chance to prove he’s the best fighter in that regard up in the air for now.
As for Jones, he’ll once again have a chance to make his case when he meets Thiago Santos in the main event of July 6’s UFC 239. After that, he could be headed for a trilogy fight with another pound-for-pound great in Daniel Cormier – or at least if his coach is right.
Is Henry Cejudo truly the pound-for-pound king in MMA as Jones conceded?