Laura Sanko: Alex Pereira At Heavyweight Could Entice ‘Picky’ Jon Jones For UFC Clash

"I think Jon would like to play spoiler to someone trying to steal his shine," Sanko says Pereira could lure heavyweight champ.

Jones Poatan
(via @alexpoatanpereira, @jonnybones - Instagram)

Laura Sanko is a fan of a potential heavyweight move for Alex Pereira.

After winning the UFC Middleweight title in 2022, Brazil’s Pereira would go on to win the UFC Light Heavyweight title in 2023, already defending it twice this year against Jamahal Hill at UFC 300 and former foe Jiri Prochazka at UFC 303. Enough’s never enough though with Pereira wanting a crack at becoming the promotion’s first-ever three-weight world champion, whether that’s against Jon Jones, Tom Aspinall or whoever holds the heavyweight belt at the time.

Pereira’s Chances At Heavyweight

There’s no timeframe on when we can see “Poatan” at heavyweight or if his next fight will be there, as he could defend the light heavyweight title against top contender Magomed Ankalaev later this year. However, when the time comes, UFC commentator Sanko would love to see Pereira move up a weight class – even if chances there aren’t the best.

“In terms of heavyweight, I love it,” Sanko said of a potential move up for Pereira on Submission Radio. “I’m here for it. I love it partly because I don’t feel great about him, his chances, I feel good about them, but I don’t feel great about them. And it really depends on who it would be, right. That is probably the biggest factor. But, if you picture him against a Jon, if you picture him against anybody, I think there’s some really interesting outcomes that could take place. Tom Aspinall fight would be insane.”

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A post shared by Tom Aspinall (@tomaspinallofficial)

Sanko On Pereira Wanting To Make History Himself: ‘We Have To Let Him Explore That’

It took Jon Jones three years to make his move from light heavyweight to heavyweight and it finally paid off, capturing the vacant championship from Ciryl Gane at UFC 285 to etch his name in the history books furthermore, as a two-weight world champion like several others. But, nobody that’s stood in the Octagon can say they’ve won three UFC titles… at least, not yet.

With what Pereira has done for the premier promotion, and saving his second event as the headliner this year, Sanko thinks the UFC should grant him the opportunity to purse triple-champ status, if he so desires it.

“I’m always in favor of someone being allowed to chase greatness, and I will never, I don’t think we as fans could ever fault them for when they do that, and things don’t quite shake out the way that they want them to. I don’t think it would take anything away from him if he took a loss at heavyweight.

“What if he did it? What then?” Sanko said of Pereira potentially winning a third UFC title. “We have to allow him to explore that.”

“Poatan” vs. Jon Jones

However, a heavyweight title shot may not fall on the UFC, but instead Jon Jones – who currently reigns as the undisputed UFC Heavyweight Champion. Jones, 36, is targeted to return against Stipe Miocic and isn’t too interested in unifying the title against interim champ Tom Aspinall. Although, “Bones” has shown his interest in fighting Pereira in the past and Sanko believes she knows why.

“I think that Jon, rightfully so, is going to be very picky about who his opponents are from now until eternity, however long that lasts, whether that’s one fights, two fights, three fights, I don’t know that it gets much longer than that. I think [Pereira] is the type of enticement that Jon would really, really enjoy because I think Jon would like his chances,” Sanko added.

“I think Jon would like to play spoiler to someone trying to steal his shine, someone trying to enter that GOAT conversation. He wants to shut the door.”

Will we ever get to see Jon Jones face the likes of Alex Pereira? Or will Jones ride off into the sunset in a possible retirement fight against Stipe Miocic later this year? Whatever outcome, interim champ Tom Aspinall probably won’t be too happy with either one.

Published on July 1, 2024 at 7:08 pm
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