Following the fourth successful defense of his 205-pound title, Jones was asked whom he would like to take on next. His answer was far from surprising as “Bones” stated he has some resolved issues to settle with a man he was supposed to face once before, former Strikeforce and two-division PRIDE champion, Dan Henderson.
“I believe I have a little unfinished business to do with Dan Henderson,” Jones told ESPN after his submission of Belfort. “So I would like to take on another great.”
Jones and Henderson were scheduled to fight for the UFC 205-pound title at UFC 151, however the event was canceled by the UFC after Henderson withdrew from the bout against Jones eight days before the fight and the organization was unable to fight a suitable main event for the fight card.
“Hendo” has made is known he still wants to fight Jones in the future and now it appears the champion wants the same.
Henderson is exactly what Jones refers to him as: a great. After defeating five-straight former champion, Jones is close to cleaning out the UFC light heavyweights division, barring a few rising potential contenders. There are few fresh challengers left for Jones and Henderson is one of those men.
The 42-year-old Henderson is rumored to fight Lyoto Machida in late 2012 or early 2013, however the UFC would likely scrap that potential match up in favor of favor of a fight with Jones. It has been seen in the past when a champion publicly states he wants to fight a certain opponent the UFC tries their best to put the fight together.
Again, though, it comes down to how badly Jones is injured. The Greg Jackson trained fighter nearly had his arm broken by Belfort in the first round when he was caught in an armbar. Plenty of fighters would have give up in Jones’ position, but the champion says he was ready for his arm to snap before he would tap.
“I wasn’t close to tapping out at all,” Jones explained. “I was very ready to face the music and get it broken if I had to get it broken, so I proved a lot to myself tonight and I’m just grateful for it.”
Even though he didn’t show many signs of pain in the bout itself, Jones says the damage sustained from the submission attempt definitely hindered his performance and prevented him from doing everything he wanted to do inside the octagon.
“Every time I extended my right hand I tried to use an elbow on my right side I felt it, I felt really as if I didn’t have the power on my right side at all.
“But you know, (my elbow) is a long ways from my heart.”
While at the time of the interview Jones did not know the extent of his elbow injury, he does assure his fans of one thing; he will be back in the octagon to defend his crown once again be it against Henderson or any other contender who proves worthy of a title shot.
“It’s just a little pain,” he said. “I will definitely live to fight another day.”