UFC 214: Jon Jones challenges Brock Lesnar, drops mic after KO of Daniel Cormier
Will Jones-Lesnar actually happen? Bones called out 'The Beast' after winning the title Saturday
New UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones was tested for two rounds on Saturday night by Daniel Cormier, but Bones ended that rivalry in dominant fashion with a brutal knockout in Round 3 that put him back atop UFC for the first time since 2015. Just moments after celebrating his victory and taking his rightful place as the best pound-for-pound mixed martial artist in history, Jones zeroed in on his potential next opponent: the current WWE universal champion.
"Brock Lensar: If you want to know what it feels like to get your ass kicked by a guy who weighs 40 pounds less than you, get in the Octagon," Jones yelled before dropping the mic and leaving the cage.
In a post-fight interview on FS1, Jones expanded on his consideration of Lesnar as his next opponent.
"I'm up for it. I think it's about time for me to be involved in a superfight. I think that's what the fans really want to see is me challenge myself against a heavyweight," he said. "Why not do it against one of the biggest and one of the most scary in UFC history in Brock Lensar? He brings a tremendous following, and I just think it would be great for the sport of MMA."
Lesnar was reached for an immediate response. "Be careful what you wish for, young man," Lesnar directed at Jones when speaking with the Associated Press.
UFC president Dana White chimed in on FS1 a bit later. "Yeah, it's interesting. I haven't talked to Brock, but apparently Brock did say he wanted to fight Jon Jones. And Jon Jones just said he wanted to fight Brock Lesnar, so we'll see what happens," he said.
Jones (23-1) and Lesnar (9-3-1) had been engaged in a quick verbal back-and-forth in the lead up to Jones-Cormier despite the fact that Lesnar is presently signed with WWE and remains suspended from competing in MMA.
Asked in a Facebook Live Q&A with UFC about moving up to heavyweight in order to face Lesnar, Jones did not shy away from the potential opportunity. "I would love to fight Brock Lesnar," Jones said. "He's a massive dude. I mean, it would be a massive draw. Really big for the sport. It'd be a great challenge. That's a big ol' boy. I doubt Brock Lesnar would take that fight, though. I definitely wouldn't try to wrestle with him the whole time. I would ... you know what? I wouldn't tell you what I would do."
Reached by the AP on July 26 for a reaction to Jones' comments, Lesnar said he was all for it. "Would I fight Jon Jones? Anytime, anywhere," Lesnar said.
The idea of a UFC comeback for Lesnar, 40, is a bit sudden as he remains suspended for five months once he chooses to return to the sport and would have to reenter the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) testing pool six months prior to a return. Lesnar retired from MMA after his UFC 200 victory over Mark Hunt, which was later declared a no contest when it was determined Lesnar twice tested positive for a banned substance.
Lensar is currently the WWE universal champion and is signed with the company through April. Company chairman Vince McMahon allowed Lesnar to take a break from his WWE responsibilities in order to fight at UFC 2000, but it is unknown whether McMahon would make such a concession again, particularly as Lesnar would likely have to fight in December or January, which is close to the Royal Rumble and a few months away from WrestleMania in April.
Jones, 30, was pulled from the UFC 200 main event just days before for his failed doping test. His one-year suspension ended earlier this month, freeing him up to challenge and defeat Cormier on Saturday. Jones won the first meeting between the two in January 2015 by unanimous decision and is now looking for a new challenger.
Although Jones, considered by many as the greatest fighter in MMA history, had long talked about one day moving up to heavyweight to challenge for a second UFC title, he had publicly soured on the idea in recent years. That appears to have changed by his comments.
A Jones-Lesnar fight would present enough star power to presumably challenge UFC records for pay-per-view buys.
If Jones does not wind up fighting Lesnar next, a rematch with Alexander Gustaffson, whom Jones beat by unanimous decision back in 2013 at UFC 165, could be up next for the new champion.
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