The UFC is in the middle of a very important transition in its sports betting history. With some of the major players that helped make the sport so popular growing older, including some of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world like Anderson Silva and Georges St. Pierre, it is time for the promotion to usher in a new era of elite fighters. Leading the way in that category is the youngest champion to ever hold a belt, UFC Light Heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones. At just 24-years old, Jones has already established himself as one of the best in the world regardless of weight class, with 16 professional wins and just a single defeat, which came via disqualification in a fight that he had dominated until it ended due to illegal downward strikes. The problem now with a fighter as dominant as Jones has been is finding an opponent that can compete at his level, and that could mean going off the board entirely, even if it means someone from another weight class taking the Betonline challenge.
The most recent name to come up in online betting rumors for taking a fight with Jones is Junior Dos Santos, the reigning UFC Heavyweight champion. Dos Santos successfully defended his belt at UFC 146 against Frank Mir, and when asked whether or not he would be willing to fight Jones at the heavyweight level, told reporters directly that he would welcome the challenge. With a potential rematch against Cain Valasquez next on the bill for Dos Santos, it seems clear that he is facing a similar problem to Jones, with a lack of elite talent in the division. Alistair Overeem was suspended for using performance-enhancing drugs, and even though he has built a reputation as one of the top heavyweights in the sport, that now comes in to question given the recent per head revelations. It is clear that perhaps the best route may be to pin the two champions against one another in a super pay per view, something that UFC President Dana White has to consider.
While there was rumors about former UFC champion Brock Lesnar giving up the fishing games and making a return to the octagon, it doesn’t appear as though that will happen. Lesnar had the ability to sell out buildings and was a huge draw for pay per view ratings, but with all that he has been through in the past couple of years, there is no reason for him to risk another fight in the octagon. That leaves Jones as the rising star in the UFC, and with no real No. 1 contender to fight him in his division. If Jones and Dos Santos were to agree to a catchweight fight, it would at the very least cause a substantial buzz worthy of convincing fans to buy in to the event, even if Jones continues his domination. The UFC is in an important transition where the sport is as popular as it has ever been and it now has to find ways to maintain that interest, and Dos Santos vs. Jones could be the next big thing.
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