Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones plans to be around the UFC for a longtime. Since he has moved up to the heavyweight division, he now plans on ruling the division with an iron fist.
In the main event of UFC 285 on March 4, Jon Jones, 35, one of the best MMA fighters pound-for-pound and the most decorated light heavyweight champion in UFC history, will face former title challenger Ciryl Gane for the heavyweight championship.
When the UFC and Francis Ngannou were unable to agree on a new contract, the heavyweight title became vacant. As a result, the now-former champion was fired from the organisation immediately.
Jones claims he is eager to compete again after a break of more than three years from the sport following his defeat of Dominick Reyes at UFC 247 in February 2020.
“I feel like I’m in a really good place,” Jones told The MMA Underground. “MMA feels fun to me again. Obviously, with being out for three years and in a new division, there’s a lot of questions that cause me to stay up long nights, but it keeps me sharp. It’s something that I feel like I didn’t have at light heavyweight towards the end. Towards the end it just felt like another day at the office. This doesn’t feel like another day at the office. This feels very different. The nerves, the anxiety – it’s all back. I do good when I’m under pressure.”
Jon Jones feels Francis Ngannou would have been a more significant opponent for his heavyweight debut
The former interim champion Gane (11-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) will be his first opponent in the heavyweight category. Jones is aware that facing a competitor like Gane has obstacles, but he also feels that facing Ngannou would have been a more significant opponent for his heavyweight debut.
“It does (take something away),” Jones said. “I feel like Francis is the more intimidating of the two. I feel like just as far as Americans go he’s more known in America. Francis was this big, scary, intimidating man, where Ciryl is relatively unknown.
“Obviously, Francis had the belt. Taking it from him would’ve been nice. … I think the fight that meant the most to me was fighting Stipe Miocic. That’s the fight that actually means the most to me, because Stipe is the greatest heavyweight of all time. I’m not looking past Ciryl Gane at all.” Jon Jones said.
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