Following his successful title defense at UFC 140 against Lyoto Machida, Jon Jones stated he wanted to take five months off. Dana White echoed this in post-fight interviews adding that the champ deserved the time off after his epic 2011. Well it appears that Jones has changed his mind regarding his plans for 2012. Jones recently appeared on Josh Gross' podcast for ESPN.com to discuss what has been described as 'the single most impressive year in MMA history' and what he hopes to accomplish in 2012. From the discussion with Josh Gross:
Yeah, you know my goal is to finish every fight in 2012. It's a goal of mine. I may do that and then things just naturally fall in line. Just to finish every opponent. Fight to finish the fight. And been thinking recently to try and compete four times again in 2012. I grew so much as a person doing that and trying to do that again will make me an even better athlete and put me in a pretty awesome spot in the sport. I was saying recently that I was going to take off four to five months but I'm starting to reconsider and come back sooner. Try and get three to four fights in this year.
This is great news for the UFC. After Jon's breakout year and the retirement of Brock Lesnar, they are desperate for a champion to carry the promotion. With hugely marketable fights awaiting with both Rashad Evans and Dan Henderson, Jones has the opportunity to cement himself as the PPV draw for the UFC, especially with Georges St. Pierre reportedly out for the majority of the year.
In 2011 he defeated the likes of Ryan Bader, Mauricio Rua, Quinton Jackson, and Lyoto Machida, a literal who's who of the division. Should Jones continue his run through the light heavyweight division, it will be very difficult for his detractors to not acknowledge that he's the best fighter of all time. The only question is can the rest of the division keep up or will they be left in the proverbial dust.