Jon Jones makes his long-awaited comeback to the Octagon on March 4 at UFC 285. Jones will take on #1 ranked heavyweight Ciryl Gane for the UFC heavyweight championship, vacated by Francis Ngannou. Over his career, Jon Jones has fought some of the best and toughest fighters to have graced the Octagon.
However, one thing aspect of this fight differs from all of Jon’s previous fights. This time, following in the footsteps of his rival Daniel Cormier, “Bones” will be fighting at heavyweight. And UFC commentator Joe Rogan feels Jon has executed his move to heavyweight perfectly.
In a conversation with UFC welterweight fighter Belal Muhammad on the JRE, Rogan explained why he thought so. He said, “One thing he’s done right is put that weight on slowly. He’s got accustomed to being 255 lbs and walking real big and heavy. And he looks big and heavy, he looks like a heavyweight, he doesn’t look like a LHW that’s gained weight, he looks like a f***ing heavyweight.“
And Rogan is quite correct in his assessment because moving up a weight class in the UFC isn’t easy. Israel Adesanya failed his shot at becoming a double champion after his botched move up to LHW. And it was evident in the fight that he simply did not have the strength to contend with the light heavyweights. Hence, Jon taking the route of slowly building up his frame, ensures that the same doesn’t happen to him.
Ciryl Gane’s Movement will be an issue for Jon Jones
Earlier on the same JRE episode, Belal Muhammad and Joe Rogan discussed Jon’s UFC 285 fight. The two discussed how Jones matched up with Ciryl compared to Francis Ngannou. And Belal opined that Gane was the more difficult fight for Jones, not “The Predator.”
He explained this by highlighting how good Gane’s movement and striking were. Muhammad said, “I think that Ciryl Gane, his movement, his footwork. He’s so good with his front leg.” Rogan and Belal even complimented Gane for the twisting side-kick he even throws during his fights.
Muhammad said that Jones looked quite stiff during the OSP fight which happened after Jon put on some muscle during a long layoff. He then explained how this would be a factor come March 5. “He just looked like a slower version of himself. Now this time, it’s a longer time off, and you’re coming back with way more weight on. And you’re going against one of the faster heavyweights and more smoother heavyweights.”
However, both Belal and Rogan admitted that Jon’s wrestling and grappling prowess will still let him get away with some of his deficiencies in the striking department. But will the extra muscle slow Jones down? Or will Bones impose his will and dominate Gane in his heavyweight debut? Let us know in the comments down below.