Jon Jones only needed two minutes to remind the world who he is on Saturday night.
‘Bones’ made his long-awaited return in last weekend’s UFC 285 main event and delivered one of the most impressive performances of his career, submitting No. 1 ranked contender Ciryl Gane at the 2:04 mark of round one to capture the vacant UFC heavyweight championship. Immediately following the bout, two-time Jon Jones opponent and UFC Hall of Famer Daniel Cormier spoke with ESPN SportsCenter’s Stan Verrett to share his thoughts on the former light heavyweight GOAT’s successful heavyweight debut.
“It was a great performance,” Cormier said. “Listen, Jones told anyone that would listen that this was going to be easy. That this was a mismatch and he went out there and proved it. No one could have expected what Jon Jones did to Ciryl Gane in that fight. Two minutes. Two minutes after three years away to become the heavyweight champion of the world. It was as impressive of a performance as Jon Jones has had in a career with a ton of great performances.”
After his jaw-dropping performance on Saturday night, Jon Jones is making to look a relatively quick turnaround by heavyweight standards. ‘Bones’ is now eyeing the main event slot at UFC 290 in July for International Fight Week. His opponent, none other than former two-time UFC heavyweight champion and general consensus heavyweight GOAT, Stipe Miocic.
Asked if Miocic will present a tougher challenge for Jones in a potential showdown, Cormier said:
“Oh yeah, absolutely,” Cormier responded emphatically. “This will be a much tougher fight and honestly, most thought it should be Stipe Miocic in the Octagon [at UFC 285], but Ciryl Gane was the one that was chosen to fight. Many thought he could present some real challenges to Jon Jones, but it was proven very quickly that they weren’t on the same level Stipe Miocic will be much tougher for Jon Jones, because not only does he have the wrestling to defend takedowns, but he also is a champion himself with a lot of championship experience.”
— MMA Mania (@mmamania) March 3, 2023
Jon Jones Plans to Slim Down Before His First UFC Heavyweight Title Defense
Entering his UFC heavyweight title fight with Ciryl Gane, Jon Jones weighed in at 248 pounds. As a result of the significant increase in weight, Cormier believes ‘Bones’ looked slower than he did throughout his run at 205. While that is to be expected, Jones plans on slimming down a bit before stepping into the Octagon with Stipe Miocic for a potential clash this summer.
“You could see in his movements he’s a little bit slower,” Cormier commented. “He doesn’t move as quick. He doesn’t do things as fast as he used to, but you expect that from a guy going up to heavyweight. But he said this fight was about getting into the Octagon and competing. In the next fight, expect him to lose 12-15 pounds he said, to feel more like himself when he goes back for the second time at heavyweight.
“Fighting Stipe Miocic, a guy who’s faster, you would expect Jon Jones to be a little smaller and look more familiar to the guy we knew from before.”