UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is currently sitting on the sidelines nursing a hand injury while the rest of the division vies for a shot at his belt.
There are several bouts with divisional impact currently on the docket — Rashad Evans vs. Phil Davis, Matt Hamill vs. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Forrest Griffin vs. Mauricio Rua, to name a few — and Jones is keeping a close eye on the outcomes of those bouts, as it is possible that he may face the winner of any of them next, even if he feels like a few fighters on that list might be currently undeserving of a title shot.
In a recent interview with MMAFighting.com, Jones spoke specifically about the Hamill-Rampage bout and its significance in the 205lbs. division. Though Hamill technically owns a win over Jones, it came as the result of illegal elbows thrown by the 23-year-old in a fight that he was thoroughly dominating and would likely have won via TKO were the elbows he threw not pointed downward. Considering this, and the fact that Rampage recently rebounded from a loss to Rashad Evans by earning a split decision over Lyoto Machida, Jones told MMAFighting that Hamill shouldn’t be in line for a title shot even with a win over Jackson.
“I don’t think him beating Rampage would be enough for him to earn a title fight. I have no desire to fight Matt Hamill again. That was a great performance and it’s history now,” said Jones. “I’m looking for new opponents, new threats and new challenges. I’ve already had the Hamill fight.”
Hamill and Jackson square off on May 28 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.