Jon Jones Finally Switches Gears, Says He’ll Fight Anyone To Keep UFC 197 Alive

Jon Jones has a long history of not taking fights on short notice. UFC 151 was infamously canceled when Dan Henderson had to pull out of the main event against Jones on eight days notice and this led to the first of many rifts between Jon Jones, the UFC and the fans. Unlike Conor McGregor, Jon Jones is a meticulous fighter who won’t leave anything to chance when it comes to his perfect (in the cage) legacy. So when news broke that Daniel Cormier had to pull out of UFC 197 with an injury, the UFC was looking at a three week window to save the show. But even if they found an opponent, would Jones accept the fight?

Fifteen tumultuous months away from the sport makes a Jon Jones hungry, and the former light heavyweight champ posted what the fans wanted to hear – he’ll take on all comers with just three weeks of notice.

“Hey, you all know I’m not into taking short notice fights. It’s not the way me and my trainers do things. But this last year has been real crazy and I feel like I owe my fans so much, so UFC: whether you got a heavyweight or light heavyweight, it doesn’t matter. Let’s keep this main event going. Send ’em my way.”

So who will Jon Jones fight? Anthony Johnson, who Jones was supposed to fight over a year ago is a potential replacement, and Jones’ PR rep tweeted out that he would face the LHW contender until the tweet was quickly deleted.

There’s also Ovince St. Preux, who is 7-2 in the UFC, but would only be fighting Jones due to stepping up on short notice. This fight will not move needles.

Rashad Evans who is currently fighting Glover Teixeira and UFC on FOX 19 is also a possibility, but Jones beat him handily in 2012. But what about heavyweights? There’s always Mark Hunt, who will face anyone at any time. Same with Roy Nelson. Jones would likely have his way with all of them (save Hunt who has the best chance of winning out of the group), but we now have to look at this as an exhibition warm-up fight until Jones can attempt to reclaim his belt from Cormier at a later date.