It is no secret that Jon Jones researches his opponents before each fight, and he has identified some weaknesses in Ciryl Gane that he may be able to exploit.
Jones (26-1 MMA, 20-1 UFC) avoids bouts on short notice in part because he likes to prepare for them by watching hours and hours of footage. Jones is confident that the notes he has acquired will be useful when he enters the cage at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas for the UFC 285 main event to battle Gane (11-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) for the vacant heavyweight title.
Jon Jones was appreciative of Gane when first asked what he sees in his heavyweight debut opponent, heaping respect on the former interim champion for his prowess.
“Ciryl seems like a nice guy,” Jon Jones told reporters at the UFC 285 pre-fight press conference. “Seems like a – you know, he’s a great fighter. Great footwork, great striking, ambidextrous in his stances – and I think it’s going to be a great fight.”
Jon Jones lists Gane’s flaw
A little while later, though, Jones was questioned about remarks he made on Wednesday’s media day, in which he claimed Gane was the most unprepared of the top five heavyweights. Jones then revealed what he believed to be flaws in his opponent’s strategy by going beyond the surface.
“I respect Ciryl Gane, I really do, but I study film constantly and I just see a lot of patterns,” Jones said. “When he’s in one stance, there’s things he really loves to do. He goes to the same well a lot. When he’s in the opposite stance, he has his tendencies. Outside of that, I realized that he doesn’t have much wrestling. He relies on evasion, trying to get away. He relies on jiu-jitsu instead of solid takedown defense, and same with the ground game. I watched Francis Ngannou be able to rack up maybe five, six minutes of top time in that fight, and Francis is not a guy that’s known to control people on the top.
“He does have the striking down. I don’t think defensively he’s a very strong kickboxer. He has a really nice offense. Like I said, his defense is mainly in his footwork, and two other big holes are jiu-jitsu and wrestling.”
Although Jones talked, Gane, who was seated next to Jon Jones and with UFC president Dana White manning the podium between them, did not respond much. When it was Gane’s turn to speak, he addressed some of the topics Jones had raised.
Gane stated he covered that ground in Jones’ training camp after admitting he erred by underestimating Francis Ngannou’s wrestling skills during their UFC 270 heavyweight title fight.
“Everybody knows the level of wrestling of Jon Jones, but I’m focused about that,” Gane said. “I’m focused on it, so we worked on it. We’re going to be ready for him.”
“Truly, I’m just focused on my performance,” Gane said. “I just want to do well in the cage against a big guy like him. It’s a big test for me. Maybe, and truly, the biggest test of my life.” (H/T – MMAJunkie.com)