Just after Jones defeated Lyoto Machida at UFC 140 in Toronto, the UFC’s light heavyweight champion had said he was planning an extended vacation after four fights in 2011, but that plan has already gone south.
According to UFC president Dana White, who spoke to ESPN 1100 in Las Vegas, Jones has had enough downtime already, and he’s calling for another fight as soon as possible.
“The funny thing you should say about Jon Jones and him saying he wants some time off, he called up four days ago and said ‘okay, let’s go I’m done with vacation.’ He said he wanted to take all this time off and then they were calling me four days ago saying he wants to fight as soon as possible. He’s ready to go,” White told the radio show.
In Jones’ last fight, he helped to save that card as well when the UFC had scheduled a show on Dec. 10 in Toronto, but didn’t have a main event set in the general time as usual. Jones had just competed at the end of September with a win over Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, but he stepped up when the UFC asked him to help fill the main event slot at UFC 140 just over 2 months later.
Now with the champion already done with his vacation three weeks after his last fight, White might take him up on his offer to fill the vacancy at UFC 145 in Montreal.
While nothing is set in stone yet, all signs are pointing towards a showdown with former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Dan Henderson.
Henderson is just coming off of his Fight of the Year performance over Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 139 in November. Within a week of that bout ending, he was already calling the UFC president asking for another fight.
As Montreal awaits a main event, White just may oblige him with a title fight against Jones.
“What could end up happening is Dan Henderson fights Jon Jones first, and then it would be close to the time that Rashad (Evans) fights. Or we see how things go with Rashad and Rashad fights him first,” said White.
Evans fights Phil Davis at UFC on Fox 2 on Jan. 28 in Chicago. The fight card in Montreal is currently slated for March 24, so if Evans is successful in his bout against Davis, there is still the turn around factor being less than two months until a title fight, plus injuries and other things could go wrong that could prevent such a quick return.
In that case, Henderson is the obvious choice, and gives the UFC something to promote during the UFC on Fox 2 card if they opt to go that route.
Either way, Jon Jones remains the prime candidate to be at least one piece of the main event puzzle for UFC 145 in Montreal. Now it just depends on who he would face if the fight gets put together.