UFC Star Doubts Jon Jones Will Do Well in Move-Up to Heavyweight Division: ‘Don’t See an Easy Path’

by Quentin Blount

UFC star Gilbert Burns believes that Jon Jones moving up to the heavyweight division will be a mistake on the part of the former UFC Champ.

Jon Jones vacated the light heavyweight championship last year after enjoying a near-decade of domination in the division.

The 33-year-old has since made the move up to the heavyweight division. Critics of Jones have suggested that he made the move only to avoid fighting UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya or Dominick Reyes in a rematch. After those reports came out, Jon “Bones” Jones poked fun at the UFC middleweight champ.

Jones would go on to mock Adesanya for moving up to a weight division that he is no longer in. He suggested that the middleweight champion only went up a class when he left.

“When I move, you move, just like that,” Jones added. “Name another fighter who’s made more men retire, switch weight classes, or switch organizations altogether. I’ll wait.”

However, it appears that one of Jones’ top critics is the top welterweight contender Gilbert Burns. Burns doesn’t believe moving up a weight class is the right move for Jones.

The No. 2-ranked “Durinho” explained in a recent segment on his YouTube channel, that Jones still has more to accomplish in the light heavyweight class before he should consider moving up. He also says that he foresees heavyweight being a tough path for “Bones.”

“Jon Jones at heavyweight? Me, I don’t like that so much,” Burns said via MiddleEasy.com. “When you have a guy like Francis Ngannou in the heavyweight division, I don’t know. I don’t see an easy path for Jon Jones in the heavyweight division. Or he has to fight Stipe. If Stipe beats Ngannou, Stipe is fighting Jon Jones. But I don’t think that’s going to happen. I think Ngannou is going to defeat Stipe and Ngannou will fight Jon Jones. And I don’t like that fight.”

Burns notes in the video that he believes the No. 1 ranked heavyweight Francis Ngannou will defeat champion Stipe Miocic in the presumed next divisional title fight. H then believes the stage is being set for Ngannou to fight Jones. Ngannou is viewed by widely-regarded as the most powerful fighter in the UFC. He has 11 wins by KO/TKO, and has finished off some of the top heavyweights of all time. That list includes former champs Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos.

In the video, Burns says he does not like the Ngannou fight for Jones. He thinks that taking that taking that fight would be a major risk for the former light heavyweight champ.

“I don’t like the ‘what if,’ but what if Jon Jones goes against Francis Ngannou and [Ngannou is] going to knock him out badly?” Burns continued. “How about that? What is Jon Jones going to do? First, when you’re undefeated and you lose, it’s very tough. … If you’re champion, undefeated, undisputed and then you lose badly, I don’t know how that’s going to affect you [mentally]. I don’t know about Jon Jones’ future.”