After a year on the shelf, Jon Jones made a successful mixed martial arts return at UFC 214, defeating his biggest nemesis Daniel Cormier to regain the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship.
In his post-fight interview, Jones surprised many by sending a heartfelt tribute to Cormier, calling him not only his “biggest rival and motivator” but also “an amazing human being”.
However, what sent the Californian crowd into a frenzy was when Jones addressed a certain former UFC Heavyweight Champion.
“Brock Lesnar. If you want to know what it feels like to get your ass kicked by a guy who weighs 40 pounds less than you, meet me in the Octagon.”
Amid rumours of a Lesnar return to the UFC, both men addressed one another in the media in the leadup to 214, with each admitting they would be interested in setting up a fight with the other.
But it was Jones’ comments towards the WWE superstar on a live UFC pay-per-view broadcast that tipped the rumour mill into overdrive.
— The Spartan (@EliasTheodorou) July 30, 2017
Still, that doesn’t mean the fight will happen anytime soon. There are a number of Lesnar-sized obstacles in the way.
Lesnar’s contract with WWE expires in April, thought it’s important to note that the organisation gave him the go-ahead to fight Mark Hunt last year at UFC 200 while still under a WWE contract.
Indeed, it’s that particular fight that has served to erect the other major obstacle blocking a Jones-Lesnar showdown.
If cheater Lesnar fights again ? That would be a disgrace..
— Stefan Struve (@StefanStruve) July 30, 2017
Although originally beating Hunt by decision, the bout now appears as a no-contest on Lesnar’s record as he was later suspended for one year after failing two drug tests.
Following this, Lesnar retired from MMA competition, essentially freezing his suspension.
Consequently, Lesnar would now require around six months of clean drug testing before he could fight.
Despite these obstacles, it’s still a fight that has captured the imagination of many, and for good reason. But not everyone is thrilled with the idea.
On the Obviously Fight Talk show this week (video above), the debate centred on whether the idea made sense for Jones or whether a fight with a number one contender like Alexander Gustafsson held more merit.
@JonnyBones congrats Champ. Stop asking for retired fighters, I've been waiting to put my hands on you and so have all the fans.
— Alexander Gustafsson (@AlexTheMauler) July 30, 2017
The consensus seemed to be that the Gustafsson fight makes more sense for sporting reasons, but because of the way the sport has been moving over the last few months it’s not surprising that Jones would be more interested in a matchup with Lesnar.
A similar division of opinion has been visible across social media, but it’s safe to say that if Jones vs. Lesnar does indeed happen, we’d certainly all watch.
* You can watch the latest episode of Obviously Fight Talk and subscribe to their Youtube channel right here.