Greg Jackson ready to help Jon Jones move up to heavyweight after clearing out UFC's LHW class

Esther Lin for MMA Fighting

The coach of the UFC's top Light Heavyweight says he looks forward to training Jon Jones for the challenges presented by a move up to the Heavyweight class and for the remaining challenges left at 205 pounds.

MMA trainer Greg Jackson was Ariel Helwani's guest on yesterday's MMA Hour and addressed the question of coaching UFC Light Heavyweight champ Jon Jones for a move up to the Heavyweight division.

Here's what Jackson had to say, "Yeah, I'm OK with whatever they want to do. If he wants to do that, then I'll help him out. I've always said that it's up to fighters and the management. Then it's my job to figure out how we're going to do that. If that's the parameters they want to give, that's what I do. And I actually enjoy that. Anything different is good."

He also addressed the fact that the 205 pound class has a couple of remaining challenges for Jones before he moves on up, "It doesn't matter to me," he said. "It's whatever the UFC says. As long as we have enough time to prepare, we're going to have to fight them all anyway. We're going to have to fight Machida again, we're going to have to fight Gustafsson, whoever else they put in front of us. It's just a matter of who's next. But I never want to be like, 'Avoid this guy' or 'fight this guy.' When you're the champion, you really have to take on. That's part of what being champion is; whoever they say you have to fight, you have to fight. People might not think that makes sense because we said we don't want to take a new fight on short notice. That's a whole different animal. It's not that we were avoiding the opponent, we were avoiding the situation. We wanted to make sure we were well-prepared. This is a world title in a sport that I think is the best in the world by far, and I want to take that seriously."

Personally, I have very little interest in seeing Jones fight Lyoto Machida again but I'm concerned that Machida will knock off Alexander Gustafsson before Jones recovers from surgery to repair a compound fracture of his big toe suffered against Chael Sonnen at UFC 159.

Machida already bumped Dan Henderson from title contention and I'd hate to see him knock off another. The only other fighters in the UFC's LHW division that are at all intriguing for Jones are Phil Davis and Glover Teixeira. Davis has been seemingly consigned to limbo since Rashad Evans at UFC on Fox 2 in early 2012. Beating opponents like Wagner Prado and Vinnie Magalhaes may be a good way to restore his confidence but they do nothing to build Davis' career momentum.

The 33-year-old Teixeira is 3-0 in the UFC and faces James Te Huna at UFC 160 on May 25 in Las Vegas.. If Jones has to spend several months on the shelf, I will be hoping for a Teixeira vs. Gustafsson bout to establish the #1 contender.

As for Machida, I'd rather see him face the winner of the June Mauricio "Shogun" Rua vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira bout at UFC 161 in Winnipeg.

SBN coverage of UFC 159: Jones vs. Sonnen


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