Ariel Helwani Describes The Impact Of Jon Jones’ Return: ‘Everyone Was Just Talking About The UFC’

Ariel Helwani shared what he remarkably noticed during Jon Jones' UFC return.

Helwani On Jones
Helwani On Jones - Image Credit @UFC Twitter
  • Ariel Helwani said the UFC trended across all social media platforms this past weekend because of Jon Jones
  • The podcaster thinks “Bones” did not look like he was the underdog heading into the fight

MMA journalist Ariel Helwani did not expect that the UFC will gain a tremendous amount of traction during Jon Jones’ return at UFC 285.

Putting the UFC back on the map

Helwani described the magnitude of Jones’ epic comeback this weekend based on the media’s perspective. According to the podcaster, it was the first time he witnessed the UFC become the most talked-about topic across the board in the world of mainstream sports.

“It felt like everyone was just talking about the UFC and everyone was talking about Jon Jones and all the social media accounts were talking about the UFC and Jon Jones… It was an incredibly successful night for the UFC, over 12 million dollars was live gate, 19,000 people, this is one of their best nights ever they’re on fire right now and that’s what happens when a guy of Jon Jones’s stature returns,” Helwani raved on The MMA Hour.

Contrary to what many expected

Helwani also noted that while many believed that Jones will be the outright underdog, considering the long layoff and underwhelming heavyweight transformation, “Bones” proved them all wrong right off the bat en route to the actual fight with Ciryl Gane.

“I was blown away by Jon Jones. Blown away by him and I wasn’t just blown away by the two and a half, three minutes that we saw from him inside the cage on Saturday night. I was blown away by him all week. All week Jon Jones felt comfortable, felt happy, felt stress-free, felt motivated like he played the whole week perfectly. Hanging out with fans, laughing, smiling, those pictures come up of his physique, he’s joking about them, clearly a little bit bothered, but having fun with it, freaking stare at Ciryl [Gane] in the face, intimidated him. He was not the smaller guy, he was the bigger man, he was the freaking legend coming back to remind everyone all week leading up to the weigh-ins, he was on point he was on fire,came in a little bit heavier by 0.5, seemed comfortable, seemed reinvigorated, seemed happy… smiling, joking, seemed to embrace the whole thing, wasn’t at odds with the UFC, he wasn’t at odds with Dana White, was happy at the press conference, was happy interacting with the people. He was on fire, he was fantastic,” Helwani described.

From the looks of it, it appears that Helwani was right as Jones appeared exceptionally confident during the fight. On the other hand, some noticed that Gane came in mentally unprepared and even “scared” of “Bones.”

Jones is now looking to pick up where he left off and is only focused on a showdown with former heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic.

Published on March 7, 2023 at 11:03 am
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