• UFC 146

Jon Jones would replace Overeem, if it wasn't JDS

ESPN staff
April 12, 2012

UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones has confirmed that, under normal circumstances, he would have been happy to step up and fight the heavyweight champion at UFC 146, but not whilst that champion is Junior Dos Santos.

Alistair Overeem's failed drug test has thrown his May 26 title bout with Dos Santos into doubt. The challenger is heading for a Nevada State Athletic Commission hearing, where he can explain the failed test, but failure to do so would leave the UFC to find a new challenger to the belt.

The names of Mark Hunt, Fedor Emelianenko and Dan Henderson have all been mentioned, in addition to Frank Mir or Cain Velasquez, who are scheduled to fight at UFC 146. However, a popular option would be to see 205lb champ Jones challenge for the heavyweight strap, if he comfortably overcomes Rashad Evans on April 21.

Jones admits that, if he emerges unscathed from the Evans fight, he would definitely be up for the task. The only problem being his friendship with current champion Dos Santos.

"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 told PricklyPairStudios. "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. 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."

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