You might remember around September of 2013, UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones had said in an interview that he wanted to challenge heavyweight boxing champions, Wladimir or Vitali Klitschko to a boxing match. This was met with a lot of skepticism about whether or not he was being serious.
Friday afternoon during the UFC Fight Club Q&A, a fan asked him if he still stood by those comments. Jones came clean, claiming he was just talking junk, “Honestly guys, I actually never wanted to box one of the Klitschkos. I was just talking junk. It was fun, it was really fun. But no, I respect those guys so much, what they do is amazing, very high level stuff. I am not trying to get killed. I’ll stick to mixed martial arts.” Jones said.
The defending light heavyweight champ has a scheduled fight against number one contender Glover Teixeira at UFC 172 in Baltimore on April 26th. “I could see him being a really tough test. A lot of people may underestimate him. A lot of people underestimate my last opponent, I never did. I see the tools that these guys have, yeah Glover definitely could be a really tough test.” Jones said.
“Glover’s a great fighter, he’s the total package. And I just have to be ready everywhere.” Jones said. “I believe that I’m younger, stronger, faster, ambitious, I believe I’m going to do well.”
In addition to Glover, Jones is looking forward to two other opponents in the light heavyweight division. “I think I have a lot of work to do at the light heavyweight division still. My goals are to beat Glover Teixeira, beat Alexander Gustafsson in our rematch, and then beat DC (Daniel Cormier). Jones said. Later adding, “Right now I’m preparing to go into probably the toughest schedule I’ve had. Any of the next three guys, they’re monsters.”
No surprise, after the fight of the year performance Jones had with Gustafsson at UFC 165, there were many questions asked about the fallout from that epic bout. “He’s definitely not going anywhere. Right now I’ve been working on a few things in my basement that will help me when we fight again.” Jones said. “I wouldn’t say I have any biggest fears. Having a fight like that Gustafsson fight, it’s inspiring, it motivates me. I’m excited for when it happens again.”
And as for Gustafsson winning the cover vote for the UFC EA Sports video game, “I thought it was great man. It shows the power of that fight, and what that fight did for the fans.” Jones said. “I’m really happy for everything that’s happening in Gustafsson’s career.”
Jones also entertained questions pertaining to fights above his weight class. “If I ever moved up to heavyweight I would hope to get a title shot right away against the best guy.” Jones said. “I would love to entertain the heavyweight division for the fans. But I also want to do it just to call myself a heavyweight champion and light heavyweight champion. I would hope to go for the head guy.”
As for a potential super fight with middleweight champion, and fellow new york resident, Chris Weidman, Jones would absolutely be open to it. “I got no reason to make comments about Weidman. I think he’s a great guy, but I’m very confident, I’m a very confident young man. Absolutely (would be open to it).”
The 26 year old also had some sound advice for young fighters saying, “Never follow another guy. Just follow yourself. Follow your own heart. Whether it’s coaches, no one should be the captain of your career. Just follow your heart, if you feel you need to stay at the school you’re at, stay at the school you’re at. If you feel like you need to train with other people, train with other people. Basically you gotta want it more than anyone else would want it for yourself. Follow your heart, keep winning fights, and the marketing and everything will come by soon.”
An interesting tidbit Jones added, despite having the biggest reach in the UFC at 84.5″, he noted that he still couldn’t straighten out his right arm the way it used to, since being armbared by Vitor Belfort at UFC 152.
The full UFC Fight Club Q&A with Jon Jones can be seen below: