Jon Jones is headed for his second title defense of the year when he meets Thiago Santos for the 205-pound title at July 6’s UFC 239. Jones’ coach believes he’s in for a much, much bigger fight down the line.
That, of course, is his long-awaited trilogy fight with longtime rival Daniel Cormier. Jones famously beat current UFC heavyweight champion Cormier twice before. He outlasted him by decision at UFC 182 in early 2015 before knocking him out at UFC 214 in July 2017. The second win was shrouded in controversy, however, when ‘Bones’ tested positive for banned anabolic steroid Turinabol. The victory was eventually overturned to a no contest due to Jones’ PED suspension.
Jones’ Coach Speculates on Cormier Trilogy
So a trilogy fight between them is the only thing that will settle the score. It’s uncertain if it will ever happen. Jones has been a bit noncommital on the issue even thought it pops up in every one of his interviews. He believes the much larger “DC” won’t cut back down to 205 pounds. But his coach Mike Winkeljohn is not as uncertain. Speaking to BJPENN.com recently, Coach Wink said he believes the fight happens – even if it is at heavyweight:
“I think it happens, yeah. It is something that Daniel really wants, he can’t let it go. You can’t blame him, he is a fighter. He wants to get it back. Jon doesn’t have to take it again, but that being said, Jon thinks he has his number, we think we have his number. At heavyweight, of course, he is bigger and stronger, but Jon will be too.”
Weight Class Doesn’t Matter?
Winkeljohn expanded on the subject, noting that it didn’t matter what weight the fight was at. In his viewpoint, the match-up favors Jones either way. If it is up at Cormier’s new home, they would need time for Jones to gain some weight, and that is not ideal:
“It doesn’t matter to me, it really doesn’t. It is a style matchup that favors Jon. Then, with enough time, he can be a decent size heavyweight. If it is heavyweight, we need time to get weight on him,” he explained. “It really isn’t the best to do it at heavyweight because then it will take a long time for him to come back down to 205.”
The decorated coach closed by saying he thought Jones would always stay at 205. But if the biggest fight is up at heavyweight and the money is right, then Jones will be motivated to face Cormier for the third time:
“I always thought Jon would stay at light heavyweight and clean house. But, it is all about big fights and fights that motivate Jon. So, if the money is right, Jon will do it and step up to heavyweight.”
With Cormier set to rematch Stipe Miocic at August’s UFC 241 and Jones still yet to take on Santos, a lot of things still have to fall into place for this rivalry to be settled in a trilogy bout. It’s one of the UFC’s biggest potential match-ups nonetheless, and would only be made that much bigger if it were to be for the heavyweight title. Winkeljohn believes it will happen, while Jones isn’t quite as sure.
Do you agree with Jones’ longtime coach that his Cormier trilogy fight will happen?