A soon to be defending champion admits that he had a different opponent in mind before agreeing to face Reyes.
“I was trying to get a Stipe Miocic fight,” Jones said at the UFC 247 pre-fight press conference (via Damon Martin of MMA Fighting). “I thought that maybe it would happen but instead we have Stipe-DC (Daniel Cormier) 3. But at the moment I was so ready to go to heavyweight and stick my hands in with some of those big fellas.”
Miocic and former two division UFC champion Daniel Cormier are expected to meet sometime in 2020, but no date is set at this moment.
Jones says he still plans on potentially moving up to heavyweight, despite the missed opportunity against Miocic.
“After this Thiago Santos fight, I was at a place where I wanted to start entertaining the heavyweight division,” Jones said. “I’ve been wrestling with my brother my whole life. I’ve been going with Andrei Arlovski and [Alistair] Overeem and all these big guys my whole career and I’ve always done well. At 240 [pounds] I move just as well as a I do at light heavyweight. My versatility, I realize, is not things most heavyweights would do, spinning things, flying knees, things like that. I feel really good. The time is going to be really close. I wouldn’t be surprised if it happened in 2020. I was 240 not that long ago. Right now, I’m living with my nutritionist and I’ve built a home gym in my garage and I feel really, really good right now. I’m 230 with a six pack.”
UFC 247 takes place on Saturday, February 8 from the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas with Jon Jones and Dominick Reyes headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.