There have been a few men over the years who can credibly claim the title of “baddest man on the planet,” including the likes of Anderson Silva, Georges St.-Pierre, and Khabib Nurmagomedov.
However, there’s a good chance Jon Jones could dominate them all.
He certainly hasn’t had much trouble dominating anyone UFC president Dana White has put in front of him, clearing out two weight classes en route to a 27-1 record.
Now that “Bones” is the current UFC Heavyweight champion, who will be the next opponent on his dance card? And what about the sites to bet on Jones’ future fights? We recommend Bovada today, but there are other sites to consider, too!
Below, we’ll look at some of the most likely challengers for Jones’s new hardware and take a closer look at the best sites available right now.
Let’s get started.
Best Sites to Bet on Jon Jones Next Fight
- Bovada: Best overall
- MyBookie: Most competitive odds
- BetOnline: Variety of markets
- BUSR: Up to $1,500 welcome package
- SportsBetting.ag: Excellent user-interface
- BetAnySports: 24/7 customer service
- EveryGame: 20+ years experience
- BetUS: Best for mobile
- Lucky99: #1 pick for parlay
- XBet: First deposit bonus up to $500
Jon Jones Career at a Glance: Becoming “Bones”
From the first moment Jon Jones set foot in the Octagon, he served notice that he wasn’t a “traditional” cage fighter.
He is an incredibly talented striker, an indefatigable wrestler, and a submissions wizard, but what sets him apart from his peers is his creativity. Bones attacks in ways that other fighters would never even consider, and his ability to surprise his opponents may be as pivotal to his success as his ability to physically overwhelm them.
While other modern fighters grew up idolizing scrappers like Don Frye or wrestlers like Matt Hughes, Jones had a different idol in mind: Bruce Lee. He borrowed his trademark “oblique kick,” a shot at the opponent’s knee, from the famed martial artist, and he throws kicks from just about any angle and in just about any situation.
He also has a penchant for beating other fighters at their own game, taking their biggest strength and turning it against them. This is incredibly demoralizing and goes a long way toward explaining why Jones doesn’t engender the same fawning adoration that other dominant UFC champions have enjoyed during their careers.
Early Days of Jon Jones
Jones began his brawling career as a state-champion wrestler in New York. He comes from an athletic family, as his two brothers played in the NFL, and Bones was a standout defensive lineman himself in high school.
He chose to fight for a living, though and toiled on anonymous cards before transitioning to the big leagues at UFC 87 in August 2008. There, he was pitted against veteran Andre Gusmao, who he handled with relative ease on the way to a unanimous decision victory.
From there, he would take on legendary journeyman (to the extent such a thing exists — hello, Cowboy Cerrone) Stephan Bonnar. He dominated the fight with his wrestling but fatigued near the end and had to settle for another unanimous decision win.
It was clear at this point that the UFC had something special on its hands, though, so Dana White set Jones up with another formerly top prospect, Jake O’Brien. O’Brien had been the next big thing in the light heavyweight division before back-to-back losses to Andrei Arlovski and Cain Velaquez, and he was no match for Jones, who submitted him via guillotine choke.
His next match would be one of his most controversial: his lone loss against fellow prospect Matt Hamill. Jones toyed with Hamill for most of the match and dislocated his shoulder with a takedown; from there, Jones assumed the top position and rained elbows down on his helpless opponent.
One of these strikes was deemed an illegal 12-6 elbow, and since Hamill could no longer compete due to the dislocated shoulder, Jones was disqualified. Even Dana White was dissatisfied with the decision and lobbied for years to have the fight ruled a no-contest.
Clearing Out the Other Top Prospects
While the Hamill result might have blemished Jones’s record, it didn’t diminish White’s enthusiasm for the young fighter, and he kept moving up the light heavyweight ranks. His next fight was a headliner against Brandon Vera, who left with a face broken in three places after taking a vicious elbow that ended the fight in round one.
Next was his toughest fight of all, against former IFL Light Heavyweight Champion Vladimir Matyushenko. Well, toughest on paper, anyway, as Jones dispatched him in the first round with elbow strikes as well.
White had promised Jones a step up in competition if he beat Matyushenko, and he was as good as his word: the next man up was undefeated phenom, and Ultimate Fighter winner Ryan Bader, who many felt was the future of the division.
The bout was a cakewalk for Jones, as he manhandled Bader throughout the first round before finishing him with a guillotine in the second, earning “Submission of the Night” honors for his troubles.
At this point, it was clear that Jones deserved a title shot, and that’s exactly what White had in store for him.
Light Heavyweight Glory
Rashad Evans, Jones’s friend and training partner, was forced to vacate his belt due to injury, and so Jones stepped in to fight the legendary Mauricio “Shogun” Rua for the interim title.
While Shogun is one of the most mythical figures in mixed martial arts, that didn’t help him much against Jones. He was thoroughly battered through three rounds, and the fight was stopped after Jones sent him crashing to the canvas with a body shot and knee to the head.
Jones was now the champion, but he paid a stiff price: his formerly close friendship with Evans turned into a bitter rivalry. The two were supposed to face off following the Shogun fight, but Jones suffered an injury of his own that delayed the matchup.
Instead, he faced off against the formidable Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. The knock on Jackson has always been that he isn’t always fully engaged, but this bout would see him at his absolute peak, both physically and mentally.
It wouldn’t matter. Jones finished him off via rear naked choke in the fourth. After yet another injury delayed a showdown with Evans, Bones took on the dangerous Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida at UFC 140.
Machida did prove to be dangerous, and he was the first fighter to put Jones at risk in the Octagon, rocking him with several powerful left hands in the first round. Bones recovered during the break, though, and ended the fight with a guillotine in the second.
This set the stage for the long-awaited grudge match against Evans.
The Evans fight is perhaps the purest encapsulation of what Jones brings to the Octagon. One of the top wrestlers in UFC history, Evans was thought to be a real danger to Jones on the ground. Instead, it was Bones who outmuscled his former friend in the grappling game en route to a lopsided unanimous decision.
A String of Successful Defenses
With the Evans fight finally behind him, Jones would embark on a string of impressive victories over some of the biggest names in MMA history. First, though, he would earn the rancor of both White and UFC fans everywhere.
Jones was originally scheduled to fight Dan Henderson at UFC 151, but Henderson pulled out with an injury at the last minute. White scrambled to replace him with Chael Sonnen — but Jones declined the fight, leading to the first (and thus far, only) canceled PPV in UFC history.
The move soured many fans on Jones, and he has done little since then to repair his reputation.
No one can quibble with his work in the ring, though. After that cancellation, Bones would dispatch the likes of Vitor Belfort, Sonnen, and the massive Alexander Gustafsson.
It was Gustafsson that would give him perhaps the toughest match of his career in a five-round brawl that sent both fighters to the hospital afterward. Jones eked out a unanimous decision victory (and both fighters earned a “Fight of the Night” bonus). Bones would win the subsequent rematch by TKO four years later.
After the Gustafsson brawl, Jones would have a much-publicized feud with Daniel Cormier, who he defeated twice (although one win was later vacated due to Jones testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs). He also beat Glover Teixeira, Thiago Santos, and Dominick Reyes.
The Transition to Heavyweight
After the Reyes fight, Bones would move up to the heavyweight division, ostensibly to take on the massive Francis Ngannou. That fight never materialized, but Jones would nevertheless win the vacant heavyweight strap in his first fight.
That bout, against the much-larger Ciryl Gane, was expected to be Jones’s toughest fight yet. It wasn’t. Jones was never in trouble and finished the Frenchman with yet another guillotine in the first round.
That fight left Jones with another gold belt around his waist and one burning question on his mind: who was left for him to fight? Maybe Jon Jones vs Ciryl Gane is happening again!
Who is Jon Jones Fighting Next?
Perhaps the biggest downside to being the most dominant fighter in the history of the UFC is that you quickly run out of interesting opponents. It’s a good problem to have, but it’s one that has plagued Jones throughout his career.
His next fight will likely be a defense of his newly-won heavyweight title — it’s just a question of against whom. There’s one option that would excite the fans more than any other, but as anyone who’s followed the UFC for long can tell you, the most exciting fights don’t always get made.
Let’s take a look at the most likely contenders, starting with our biggest hope and moving down from there.
Stipe Miocic vs Jon Jones
This is it. The Holy Grail of heavyweight fights, and one that would likely be the capper to Jones’s legendary career. The former champ is widely regarded as the top UFC heavyweight of all time, and he’s certainly the biggest name left in the division. A fight with Jones would make for a blockbuster ending to 2023.
This fight is the worst-kept secret in MMA, as Jones called out Miocic after his victory over Gane, and White has repeatedly said that this is a bout that “needs to happen.”
For his part, Miocic accused Bones of ducking him on Twitter — and there may be some truth to that, as Jones is as difficult to pin down when it comes to scheduling a fight as he is during a grappling session.
The matchup looks to be a fun one but also one that undoubtedly gives Jones the edge. Miocic lost to Francis Ngannou in his last outing and also has a blemish to Daniel Cormier on his record, and if he’s getting knocked out by those guys, it’s hard to see how he survives a talented and creative striker like Jones.
If this fight happens, the rumor is that it will be in November, which is traditionally when the UFC holds cards at Madison Square Garden. The allure of fighting at home may be too much for Jones to resist, especially since he’s repeatedly hinted that this will be his last fight.
Beyond the chance to go out on top in front of family and friends, Jones knows that a victory over the current “greatest heavyweight of all time” would undoubtedly cement his status as the UFC G.O.A.T.
Will this fight actually happen, or is it too much to hope for? Our money is that it goes down in late November, but if it doesn’t, it would be far from the first time that a Bones card left us disappointed.
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Jon Jones to Fight Francis Ngannou
This is the fight that was supposed to be awaiting Jones when he made the transition to heavyweight, but it never happened because Ngannou abandoned the heavyweight belt and left the UFC due to a contract dispute.
Ngannou headed for the sunnier shores of the Professional Fighters League (PFL), where he’s become the top star and was awarded the type of contract that Dana White reportedly refused to offer him.
The word on the street is that he was offered north of $8 million to fight Jones, which would’ve made him one of the highest-paid fighters in the UFC. It wasn’t enough to keep him around, though, and it seems unlikely that the fight will ever happen, a fact that even Ngannou has recently conceded.
Besides, Ngannou might not even care about his MMA legacy, as he seems more intent on getting a boxing career started (and his contract with the PFL leaves him free to do so). His dream matchup would be against the likes of Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury, not Jones.
Given that Ngannou brutalized him on his way out the door, this fight might be even more tantalizing than the Miocic fight. However, it’s also a good deal less likely.
Will Sergei Pavlovich Fight Jon Jones?
This fight is the wild card, and if the paths of these two fighters had crossed at a different time, this might have ended up one of the best fights in UFC history.
Since losing his UFC debut to Alistair Overeem via TKO, the generously-sized Russian has been on a tear through the heavyweight division, taking out the likes of Derrick Lewis, Tai Tuivasa, and Curtis Blaydes. He’s shaping up as the future king of the big men — but it’s doubtful that his present self is ready for the likes of Jones.
More to the point, Bones has made it clear he doesn’t want to face Pavlovich, saying he’s “a huge challenge, but nobody knows who he is.” Of course, nothing could make Pavlovich’s name quite like being the man to topple the best fighter of all time, but that seems like a high-risk, low-reward scenario for Jones, especially if this next fight is his swan song.
This fight would be exciting and may even be the best possible matchup out of all of Jones’s options. Doesn’t sound like we’ll ever find out for certain, though.
Ciryl Gane to Fight Jon Jones
This is a fight that virtually no one wants to see, and yet…there aren’t a whole lot of other options.
Jones thoroughly outclassed Gane in their first meeting, and save the possibility that Gane was off his game for one excuse or another, there’s no reason to think that rematch would end any differently.
This wasn’t a fight that was close up until the submission — Jones exerted his will on the Frenchman from the opening bell. However, if Jones needs to fight somebody and the names above aren’t available, who are the other options?
Curtis Blaydes, coming off a loss to Pavlovich? Tom Aspinall, coming off a loss to Curtis Blaydes? Derrick Lewis, coming off losses to just about everyone? The options just aren’t good. Unless you wanted to bring a prospect like Jailton Almeida up way too quickly and throw him to the wolves, your choices after Pavlovich are a bunch of also-rans.
Tyson Fury vs Jon Jones
This “rivalry” is bizarre, but hey, what isn’t in the fighting world nowadays? These two have been jawing at each other for quite some time now, but it seems like a pointless game of chicken in that neither is willing to meet the other on their turf.
That’s likely a smart move for both men, as Jones’s boxing is no match for Fury’s, and Fury would last approximately six seconds trying to grapple with Jones. Also, both men have undefeated records (more or less) that they’re likely keen to maintain.
Still, it doesn’t leave a lot of room for realistic possibilities.
That being said, there are at least three reasons why this fight might eventually happen, and all three of them are money. No matter what form the fight ultimately takes, it would draw a huge crowd on PPV and could lead to a Conor McGregor-like payday for both scrappers.
Both men have been very confrontational in the media and on Twitter, but the sum of their jawing seems to be, “Come over here and say that to my face.” Neither is willing to leave the comfy confines of their respective sport and short a nine-figure payday; there’s seemingly little that can change that.
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When is Jon Jones’s Next Fight?
The exact date of Jon Jones’s next fight isn’t currently known (and neither, as we’ve seen, is his opponent). However, there are a lot of clues pointing towards a November 2023 return to the cage for the champ.
Most November UFC cards are held in Madison Square Garden, and given that Jones is a New York native, a sendoff in his home state could be a fitting farewell for the greatest fighter in MMA history. It certainly makes more sense than, say, Brazil or Australia.
Also, it’s likely that December will be held open for Conor McGregor’s return to the Octagon; having a Bones-Notorious One 1-2 punch is likely to be as powerful for PPV buys as it would be in the cage.
Strategies for Betting on a Jon Jones Fight
Jon Jones is a very difficult fighter to bet on, in large part due to the fact that there’s no such thing as a “typical” Jon Jones fight. He’s such a versatile fighter that he can finish opponents in the first round with strikes, wear them down and submit them in the later rounds, or simply dominate them en route to a unanimous decision.
On rare occasions — such as against Dominick Reyes — he can even escape with an undeserved W.
With that in mind, it’s probably a good idea to steer away from betting on how a Bones fight will end. Also, given his complete dominance of the UFC, you’re probably not going to get good enough odds to bet on him.
Instead, we’d urge you to think about how long the fight is likely to last. In the heavyweight division, about 75% of all fights end before heading to the judge’s scorecards — and the number is likely far higher for five-round fights.
All of the likely challengers for Bones’s title are heavy punchers, so it’s likely we’ll see them try to finish the fight early. It’s hard to imagine any of them having enough gas to fend off Jones in the championship rounds, so we’d likely take the under if it’s greater than 3.
However, it’s also important to note that Vegas bet pretty heavily that Jones’s fight with Gane would go the distance, and it very much did not. There’s a chance we could see a massive overcorrection for his next fight, in which case you could consider an over if the odds were long enough.
Open Accounts at Multiple Sportsbooks
The best way to end up in the black is to get the best price possible, and to do that, you need to line shop. The time you spend looking for better odds will likely pay off in the end, and finding a true outlier can be like finding lost gold.
You can’t do that unless you have accounts at multiple sportsbooks, though. Just sticking with one betting site is setting yourself up for failure, so take the time to get situated with multiple bookies (we’ve listed five we like below).
Not only will this allow you to line shop easier, but it also lets you get the most out of our other evergreen UFC betting strategy.
Take Advantage of Deposit Bonuses
Just about every online sportsbook offers some sort of deposit bonus to entice new users into signing up, be it a free bet or a deposit match. Regardless of what form it takes, using these to your advantage is a cornerstone of any winning betting strategy.
You can take a stab at longshot bets like parlays or simply chase long odds with a deposit bonus, and you’ll basically be risking the bookie’s money, not your own. Like Jon Jones, that’s hard to beat.
Best Sites to Bet on Jon Jones Fights – Reviews
1. Bovada – Best Site to Bet on Jon Jones’ Next Fight Overall
Bovada doesn’t have any lines for Jones’s next fight yet, but give it time (they’re taking wagers on Conor McGregor’s next bout, for instance). If their history is any indication, they’ll have Bones as a healthy favorite over whoever he’s pitted against.
Open a new account to get a 50% match up to $250, and if you fund it with Bitcoin and enter code BTCSWB750, they’ll boost that to a 75% match up to $750. During our Bovada review, we found that regardless of which method you choose, you’ll have to satisfy a 5x wagering requirement.
2. MyBookie – Most Competitive Odds for Jon Jones Fights
If you like betting on UFC futures, MyBookie has an entire section of their site called “UFC Possible Future Fights.” At press time, they still don’t have odds for a Jones fight, but you can bet they’ll be coming soon.
Enter code MYB50 at signup to get a 50% match up to $1,000 on your first deposit. You’ll also have to satisfy a 10x wagering requirement, as well as deposit a minimum of $50.
3. BetOnline – Best Variety of Betting Markets for Jon Jones Fights
One of the few sites that do have odds for Jon Jones’s next fight, BetOnline currently has him as a -365 favorite over Stipe Miocic — not a lot of faith in the supposed best heavyweight in UFC history. You’ll also find futures odds for fights like Michael Chandler-Conor McGregor, Jared Gordon-Paddy Pimblett, and Kamaru Usman-Khamzat Chimaev.
New users will be rewarded with a 50% deposit match up to $1,000 if they use code BET1000 (10x rollover applies). If you open an account with Bitcoin, use the code CRYPTO100 to get a 100% match with a 14x rollover.
4. BUSR – Best Bonuses for Betting on Jon Jones Future Fights
BUSR is mostly focused on current MMA fights, so there aren’t any odds for a future Jones fight yet. However, you’ll find lines for any other matches you can think of, including those from Bellator, PFL, and more.
When you make your account, use code SPORTS100FP to get a 100% match bonus of up to $1,500. Be aware, though, that you’ll have to deposit a minimum of $100.
5. Sportsbetting.ag – Best Site to Bet on Jon Jones’ Next Fight With Crypto
Right now, it seems like Jon Jones’s next fight is the only possible future that Sportsbetting.ag doesn’t have listed, but given this bookie’s reputation for early lines, we’d expect those odds sooner rather than later.
Enter code SB1000 at the deposit screen and put at least $55 on the site to get a 50% match up to $1,000 (10x rollover applies). Crypto bettors should try code 100CRYPTO for a 100% match and a $20 minimum deposit with a 14x wagering requirement – it’s one of the crypto sports betting sites we found online.
Jon Jones News Fight: FAQs
Who Will Jon Jones Fight Next?
Jon Jones is most likely fighting former UFC heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic next, although if it falls through, he may try to get a match with Francis Ngannou.
When is Jon Jones’s Next Fight?
Jon Jones’s next fight has yet to be announced, but it will most likely happen in the latter half of 2023, with November being the month most UFC insiders target.
Is Jon Jones Retiring After His Next Fight?
Yes, all signs point to Jon Jones retiring after his next fight. He’s hinted that he’s wanted to retire for years now.
And frankly, if he wins his next fight (presumably against Stipe Miocic) there’s really no one left that’s worth his time.
Has Jon Jones Ever Lost?
Jon Jones has lost one fight, a disqualification to Matt Hamill in a fight that he was dominating.
As a result, most fans don’t count it as a “real” loss and consider him to be undefeated for all intents and purposes.
So, Who’s Jon Jones Fighting Next?
If you want to bet on Jon Jones’s next fight, you need to hurry — because it’s likely to be his last.
Regardless of whether it ends up being against Stipe Miocic, Francis Ngannou, or some complete wildcard, the sun is setting on Bones’s illustrious UFC career.
We will likely never see another fighter like him — or find someone as reliable to bet upon. If you are looking for the best sites, check out our #1 pick for today, Bovada.
Then again, if he’s like other recent MMA superstars, we may have many more opportunities to wager on his fights — they’ll just come against washed-up boxers and ridiculous YouTube stars.
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