Fernand Lopez believes wrestling will be Jon Jones’ top priority when he meets Ciryl Gane at UFC 285.
Lopez, head coach of The MMA Factory in France, has produced two of the best heavyweight fighters in the world today, including Jones’ opponent on March 4, Cyril Gane. With Gane’s second opportunity at UFC gold closing in, Lopez sat down with MMA Junkie’s Farah Hannoun to discuss the highly anticipated heavyweight clash and how he believes Jon Jones will approach things at the T-Mobile Arena.
“I think no matter what Jon Jones or his team would say, they have their plan A as wrestling. No matter what they do in the first round, they will try the wrestling as soon as this thing starts. Believe it. I’m not saying that Jon Jones will not cut Ciryl time to time. I believe he’s very good at striking. I believe he can touch everyone, but let’s be serious. Cyril is something on the feet.
“Whenever you start to fight with him, you will find out very clear that there’s something that’s not correct. Something that will push you back. You will find out very quick that this guy is different. It’s another level of striking. The way he moves, the body language will put you in a situation that you cannot face that and you’ll have to shoot the double leg or shoot for the body lock.”
Jon Jones vs Ciryl Gane at #UFC285 on March 4! pic.twitter.com/eu8OEbmoEE
— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) February 13, 2023
Fernand Lopez Does Not Believe Jon Jones’ Lengthy Layoff Will Play a Role at UFC 285
One of the biggest mysteries surrounding the UFC 285 main event is what kind of Jon Jones we will get after the light heavyweight GOAT opted to take three years off from competition to prepare his body for the heavyweight transition.
Some expect the hungry ‘Bones’ of old to reemerge while others direct your attention to the lackluster performances he gave in his last two 205-pound title defenses against Thiago Santos and Dominick Reyes. Fernand Lopez believes the UFC 285 will play host to perhaps the most dangerous version of Jon Jones yet as he returns with eyes once again locked on UFC gold.
“If you try to think about Jon Jones and you try to look at the last fight that he had in the light heavyweight division, you might think that wasn’t great, but if you take the time to check one by one, one fight by one, he’s very dangerous. His fight IQ is out of the roof. It’s very very good and I’m expected to have the best Jon Jones. The one that is very agile. Very dangerous. Very vicious. I definitely think that we’re going to have the best [version] of Jon Jones. If the layoff comes into play, that would be a surprise for us.”