Jon Jones may not be ready to go to heavyweight after all.
In the days leading up to UFC 247 on Saturday, Jones has been teasing the move more than ever, especially after saying he felt he would beat heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic if they ever met in a fight.
Then again, Jones has been talking about going to heavyweight for several years — including a fun faceoff with Cain Velasquez when he was still champion — but the move up in weight has never materialized.
Judging by Jones’ comments on Wednesday during the UFC 247 athlete panel, he may not be seriously considering that move now either.
“At the end of the day, I feel like if it’s not broke don’t fix it,” Jones stated. “So much has been going right in the light heavyweight division. I feel like there’s always going to be great competition as long as guys are dreaming and aspiring to achieve great things. It’s going to be my job to stay where I’m at and to be a dream killer in a way.
“I’ve got a lot more years at the light heavyweight division, but I’m also excited to challenge myself.”
What would make Jon Jones move to heavyweight?
According to Jones, the decision may lie in the hands of his fans, whom he says will ultimately drive the fights he pursues in the future.
“I know at the end of the day, it’s about the fans. It’s about giving the fans what they want,” Jones said. “Unlike boxing, sometimes they hold off on great fights. Like (Floyd) Mayweather (and) (Manny) Pacquaio, that fight waited too long.
“I want to be a part of giving the fans what they want when they want it. If you guys are desiring me to go to the heavyweight division, then I think the UFC’s going to feel that demand and we’re going to make it happen.”
Wins and losses will not define Jon Jones’ UFC career
One thing that Jones made crystal clear is that he’s not going to define his legacy solely by wins and losses or how many championships he collects during his career.
Jones believes that his journey as a mixed martial artist matters more than any gold belt he could wrap around his waist.
“I think it’s growing. It’s growing at the end of the day,” Jones responded when asked what’s most important to him. “Dominick [Reyes] said something on Instagram and you can take it two ways. He said ‘being a champion isn’t about winning the belt, it’s about the person you become in life and it’s about having love and things like that,’ and I totally agree with that. The other half of me feels like that’s his way of preparing himself for a defeat.
“But at the end of the day, being a martial artist, what it means to me is being aware there’s so many things we can work on. Whether that’s in your relationship, as a father, as an athlete. I say a black belt is a black belt because they know how much they don’t know yet. I truly stand here as a guy who has so much more to learn about life. There’s people who have lost several times and they’ll be champions until the day they die. So it’s really not about winning or losing. It’s about the journey. It’s about self-improvement.”
Jones will attempt to vanquish Reyes this weekend and then the questions will surely begin again about what comes next for one of the UFC’s most dominant champions.