In moving up to the UFC’s heavyweight division, Jon Jones is looking to leave his comfort zone and venture into a greatness that no one else has ever been.
Jon Jones’s light heavyweight run is as good as any fighter’s stint in any division. When you consider his title defenses, finishes, and all the names that he has beaten along the way, it’s no wonder why so many people view Jon Jones as the greatest mixed martial artist of all time.
Recently, Jon Jones has looked more beatable than ever, narrowly retaining his light heavyweight championship in a nailbiter against Dominick Reyes after a split-decision win over Thiago Santos. But even though Jones held on to the championship, he believes he was still lacking something that brought out his best: fear. And Jones believes this is the biggest difference between the current light heavyweight division and the heavyweight division.
“The light heavyweight division was fun, but I just wasn’t scared of those guys anymore,” Jones told ESPN. “Like, none of them. And I think it showed in some of my performances. Obviously, I still trained hard. But there was no urgency in some of my last fights.
“With these next guys, I’m going to be going up against, I respect these guys. These guys are intimidating — they’re intimidating as s—. It just gets me up in a whole different way.”
Following Khabib Nurmagomedov’s recent retirement, a new batch of GOAT debates have been in circulation lately. In moving up to the heavyweight division, Jon Jones expects that the great motivator of fear will reap benefits of gold and a much harder debate against his status as the greatest fighter of all time.
“I just want there to be no debate when I’m done,” Jones said. “I do feel like I’ve had a great light heavyweight career. I’m by far the greatest light heavyweight. And in my heart, I do feel like I’m the best fighter in this sport’s history.
“But I just don’t want there to be any debate. And one way I can do that is by capturing this heavyweight crown, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do.”
If he isn’t already, would Jon Jones capturing the heavyweight title make him the GOAT in your eyes?