DAN MOORE, MMATORCH UK CONTRIBUTOR
There wasn?t anyone else at 205 lbs to match him up with, and the announcement of Vitor Belfort was a desperate measure to paper over the cracks. Glover Teixeira doesn?t have enough star power or credible UFC experience yet, and the same theory also applies to Alexander Gustafsson. Both are future contenders, but not with only three weeks notice to fight someone as good as Jones. Machida and Shogun were supposed to be the guys to step up, yet both were extremely hesitant in accepting, because they both know their next title shot will likely be their last should they fail.
FRANK HYDEN, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
I can't really think of anyone I would rather have, to be honest. There are other guys out there who might deserve a title shot if they win their next fight, but I'm in favor of not holding the belt up for long. I think Belfort is as good a pick as any in this situation.
ERIC HOBAUGH, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
I would love to see Anderson Silva fight Jon Jones. This is a HUGE fight, it makes sense, and it is one Silva can win. It would have the potential to be the greatest fight in the history of the sport.
BRAD WALKER, MMATORCH COLUMNIST
Sonnen would have been an interesting pick to fight Jones, I doubt he would have done much to Jonny Bones, but you never know. Jones played it safe and I respect that, even if I don't like it. I still want to see him face Dan Henderson in the future, aside from the obvious players of Machida and Shogun other good sleeper picks could have been Gustaffson, Chris Weidman who tossed his hat in the ring and naturally my favorite guy Glover Teixeira. Teixeira has all of the tools necessary to give Jones hell for five rounds if either of them were to make it that far, but we got Belfort, who I am content with, actually excited.
JASON AMADI, MMATORCH COLUMNIST
There were two problems with Machida and Shogun fighting Jon Jones on short notice. The first problem is that they both just fought.
The second problem is that they've already lost to Jones in decisive fashion. Shogun offered little to no resistance against Jones and Machida, while competitive, ultimately fell flat on his face. They're both lucky to even be considered for rematches, so rushing preparation for what is likely your last title opportunity in the weight class (unless Jones loses or vacates the title) would be unwise.
Really, there isn't anyone else who deserves the shot and could actually be ready to compete at a high level in that time frame. We were pretty much either looking at a middleweight ready to move up or bust.