Jon Jones has repeatedly said he’s focused squarely on Saturday’s UFC 172 light-heavyweight championship defense against Glover Teixeira, but that hasn’t stopped clamoring for a possible matchup with heavyweight titleholder Cain Velasquez.
The 26-year-old former wrestling champion and youngest to ever wear the UFC light-heavyweight crown said an unfocused and underestimated approach to his last defense against Alexander Gustafsson was the main reason that five-round unanimous decision was the most dangerous challenge to his title run.
That’s given Jones cause not to look past the powerful Teixeira and ahead to a super-fight and weight-class jump to face Velasquez.
"Somebody was asking me about possibly fighting Cain Velasquez," Jones said according to ESPN. "I have no interest at this point. There's a lot of great competition for me to test myself (at 205 pounds) -- Glover Teixeira obviously being first on that agenda."
The 6-foot-1, 241-pound Velasquez has spent the last four years atop the UFC heavyweight rankings taking down the likes of Brock Lesner, Junior dos Santos twice, and legend Antonio Silva another two times, including the fight that snapped the Brazilian’s leg and put the rest of his career in jeopardy.
All but two of Velasquez’s 13 victories have ended by knockout, and he could serve as the first fighter to knockout Jones.
Other than maintaining his focus on Teixeira, Jones cast aside a move up to heavyweight that many thought was all but certain.
Jones said there are many fighters in his current weight-class to take down before he considers elevating to heavyweight, though he’s stated before that heavyweight could be in the cards within the next two years and so could a bout with Velasquez.
Even if he outlasts Teixeira on Saturday in Baltimore Arena, Jones seems more interested in giving fans a rematch with No. 1 ranked Gustafsson and a bout with No. 4 Phil Davis
"People are interested in rematches," Jones said. "I've got (light heavyweight contender) Phil Davis saying he'll crumble me like a cookie. So, lots of competition for me and I'm excited to meet them all."
Davis, whose only loss came in a light-heavyweight eliminator against Rashad Evans in 2012, will take on Anthony Johnson during Saturday’s undercard and his mix of jiu-jitsu and wrestling techniques could be the perfect combination to end Jones’s three-year reign.
Davis’s histrionics and taunts towards Jones during Thursday’s press conference were seen as his response to UFC president Dana White questioning his hunger for greatness. But Jones took Davis’s antics in stride.
"I don't take him serious," Jones said according to Fox Sports. "I look at him like a nagging cousin just pulling on my shirt. Buzz off."