Jon Jones successfully defended his UFC Light Heavyweight Championship on Saturday at UFC 247, giving the previously undefeated Dominick Reyes his first taste of defeat in the Octagon.
The fight, much like Jones’ entire career, did not come without controversy. In this case, the judges ruled that Jones won, though it appeared that Reyes had won the first three rounds of the five-round fight.
Jones is one of the greatest fighters to ever grace the cage, but he is running out of main-event matchups in the UFC’s Light Heavyweight division. That would not be the case if Jones were to sign with WWE.
It is possible that WWE would shy away from the 32-year-old Jones due to his turbulent past (arrests for DUI, a hit-and-run and battery, as well as numerous failed drug tests), but the partnership has the potential to be extremely compelling. Jones has a personality and charisma that would likely play well in the world of pro wrestling. If he were to make the move to WWE, Jones could finally have his match against Brock Lesnar, a fight unlikely to ever occur in the Octagon.
Jones shared with Sports Illustrated that he is open to the idea of working with WWE.
“I think it’s inevitable,” said Jones. “I’ve always respected WWE, and I feel like the sports can be so similar.”
In addition to wrestling Lesnar, another potential moneymaker for WWE would be a match pitting Jones against fellow UFC legend Daniel Cormier. Even though Cormier is a passionate wrestling fan, the dislike between the two men would likely prevent the match from ever taking place—but that is a matchup with a longstanding history that would garner mainstream media coverage for WWE, and the promos leading up to the match could be very entertaining.
Several MMA stars have successfully made the transition to pro wrestling, most notably Lesnar. Former UFC champ Cain Velasquez began working lucha libre matches this summer before signing with WWE in October. Matt Riddle, who was released by UFC after two failed marijuana tests, has become one of the top talents in NXT. “Filthy” Tom Lawlor fought in UFC and later held Major League Wrestling’s Heavyweight Championship for five months. WWE’s Bobby Lashley and Shayna Baszler are also former MMA fighters.
There is money to be made for WWE by signing Jones, which means there is always the possibility it will happen.
“I have the size and athleticism and the following to transition over really well,” said Jones. “To get the opportunity to just show up, even as a special guest, would be a dream come true.”