Jon Jones has been stripped of his title and several contenders want a shot. Photo Courtesy: legendashow
Jon Jones has been stripped of his title and several contenders want a shot.
Photo Courtesy: legendashow

By Kyler Kuehler

The light heavyweight division in the UFC has always been a division to bring crowds in by large numbers and great competition that has helped the sport of mixed martial arts grow more to extensive heights. Though just recently, UFC president Dana White announced the release of the now former Light Heavyweight Champion, Jon Jones, due to him being involved in a hit and run and having possession of marijuana on him, it looks as if the division is set to start a decline in fame and might no longer be as exciting to keep an eye on as it was before.

Indeed that the light heavyweight division lost its dominating champion and the number one pound-for-pound king, which will most likely have an effect on the division and the company itself, but when looking at all the light heavyweight division has to offer it then comes clear that it can go on without the aid of Jon Jones. There are great athletes in the division such as Alexander Gustafsson, Anthony Johnson, Daniel Cormier, Ryan Bader and many more that have made a great impact on the division.

Both Johnson and Cormier will face each other at UFC 187 to determine the new Light Heavyweight Champion, which will sure be a fight to watch as fans will get to see two of the top light heavyweights go at it, thus crowning a new champion for the first time in almost four years. Both have been anxiously awaiting to hold UFC gold, though Cormier had a shot at the title against Jones at UFC 182 and lost by unanimous decision, he now has a second chance to hold the gold for the first time in his career. It might not be as big as Jones vs. Johnson would have been, but it is still worth the while to check out since you have a power striker taking on a wrestler, so the fight will come down to who has the better skills to become the new UFC Light Heavyweight Champion.

Also Ryan Bader still waits for an opponent in New Orleans after Cormier was placed into the main event for UFC 187 and plans to win and go after the belt next, thus making another possible great match up to help keep the division alive and well with the fans. It is still even possible that some day we will get to see Cormier and Bader in the octagon together, which would still be a great match up since both have trained with the current Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez. It would almost be like a teammate versus a teammate fight.

There is also of course Alexander Gustafsson, who everyone knows is the one man to ever give Jon Jones a real challenge, that has surely not only been a great powerhouse in the division, but has also gotten the sport in general very well popular in his home country of Sweden. Though Gustafsson was originally scheduled to face Glover Teixeira at UFC Fight Night 69 that fight has been put aside after Gustafsson withdrew from the fight citing in an injury, so fans will have to wait until this fight takes place and possibly see Gustafsson jump back on the road to victory after his last fight against the now number one contender Anthony Johnson at UFC on Fox 14, in which he lost by knockout in round one.

Also rising stars like Ovince Saint Preux and Jimi Manuwa are even more potential challenges for a shot at the title and could even be more great match ups for the top contenders in the division. With their amazing athleticism they truly are proving to everyone that they can make a statement and continue to keep the light heavyweight division at a high where fans will continue to enjoy watching the competition the division brings into the octagon.

Now, everyone is very well aware that the light heavyweight division and the UFC in general will not be the same without the talent of Jon Jones, but that does not mean that the show cannot go on. Did the welterweight division stop after George St. Pierre left? Of course not, so why should the light heavyweight division just stand still when there is plenty of competition that needs to be brought forth into the octagon for millions of fans to see around the world?