Kenny Florian says Jon Jones has a new mindset ahead of UFC 285.
Ken-Flo Gives His Two Cents On Jones vs. Gane
After three years away, the former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion makes his heavyweight debut against Ciryl Gane for the vacant title left behind Francis Ngannou. There are a lot of questions as to how Jones will perform in his return, given the fact his last couple fights were extremely close at 205lbs.
However, Florian thinks Jones will bring out the best out of himself now that he has literally a massive challenge in front of him.
“Ciryl Gane, in my mind on a technical level, is one of the few guys that can match the fluidity, the composure and the striking arsenal that Jon Jones tends to bring inside the UFC octagon when he’s at his best. I think this is a new challenge that excites Jon Jones,” Florian told Middle Easy. “I think Jon Jones performs best when he is a little scared and when he understands that there’s a very dangerous guy in front of him, that’s what I think brings out the best in him.
“When you look at some of his performances where he had a lot of close fights and people thought he lost and yada, yada, yada, I don’t think he was really up for the challenge necessarily mentally or spiritually having that belt for so long. Hearing these other challengers that don’t have big names, that aren’t really a threat to his skillset where he can kind of cruise, get into cruise control, have an average training camp and still go out there and smoke those guys. That was kind of the Jon Jones that we were seeing out there.”
‘He Understands He Needs To Be At His Best’
Florian believes Jones knows just what he’s getting into against Ciryl Gane because one mistake can cost him the heavyweight title. That being said, Jones has to be picture perfect at UFC 285.
Win or lose for ‘Bones’, the former UFC title challenger says it’ll be a phenomenal fight between him and Gane.
“At the heavyweight division, he understands he needs to be at his best,” Florian continued. “That one mistake could have him sleeping on the canvas. I think it’s gonna be a phenomenal fight. I would still have Jon Jones as the favorite. I saw him late last year, he looked to be in phenomenal shape. He’s had a slow progression to get to that heavy weight class. It’s not like he just put on a bunch of weight in a couple months and is now trying to do this. He’s had a few years to adjust to this weight, which I think is his advantage now.
“We haven’t seen him compete. That’s a disadvantage. I think it’s always best to see a fighter state relatively active. However, Jon Jones, he knows how to compete. He’s always gonna be dangerous and I think it’s gonna be a phenomenal fight between him and Ciryl Gane.”