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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones will defend the belt for the third time next weekend when he faces rival Rashad Evans at UFC 145, but could he also be a potential replacement for Alistair Overeem next month at UFC 146?
Jones was asked about stepping into that fight an interview with PricklyPairStudios (via ESPN UK), but while it's something he might have entertained, he says it's not a fight he's looking to jump into right now.
"It's hard to even say because of two factors: First, it would be disrespectful of me to just look past Rashad completely like, 'Oh, this fight's already done,'" Jones said. "Rashad is going to be a huge test and I'm excited for this great challenge. Honestly, it is something I would totally entertain. But at the same time, I have so much respect for Junior Dos Santos. He's such a cool dude. He's just such a cool dude.
"Fighting him is just like... Me and him, he treated me like his brother when we were in Brazil together," Jones continued. "We did a lot of fun stuff in Brazil. He's just a cool dude. Challenging him out of nowhere would be hitting him upside the head like, 'Where did Jones come from? Why does Jones want to fight me?' I'm not saying he's scared of me, by any means, I'm sure he's not."
"If it was somebody else, I would definitely go for it. But it's Junior. I don't know, I'm not even a heavyweight so to pick a fight with Junior doesn't really make sense to me. There's a lot of work to be done in the light-heavyweight division."
Penick's Analysis: Jones would have been an interesting choice, for sure, but considering he's fighting a month before and has never fought at heavyweight in his career, jumping right into a fight with the best heavyweight in the world wouldn't make a ton of sense. I can also understand his stance on not wanting to blind-side dos Santos with a challenge out of nowhere. While it's certainly a fight that could happen in the next several years as Jones moves up in weight, but to step in and put it on with little notice wouldn't make sense for anyone involved right now.
[Jon Jones art by Grant Gould (c) MMATorch.com]
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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