Jones will finally make his long-awaited heavyweight debut, challenging No. 1 ranked contender Ciryl Gane for the now-vacant championship this March. The title was previously held by the promotion’s last-standing African-born champion Francis Ngannou. ‘The Predator’ will head into free agency after turning down an offer from the UFC that would have made him the company’s highest-paid heavyweight.
Two months away from his first fight in nearly three years, Jones is putting in work with the help of Cejudo, an Olympic gold medalist who was once the owner of both the UFC flyweight and bantamweight championships. ‘Triple C’ gave fans a glimpse into Jones’ preparation during the latest episode of Return of the GOAT on YouTube.
“Just reflecting on my last few days that I had with Jones. Jones is a student of the game, man. I think people need to recognize that. You can teach him one thing, he comes back the next day and he almost becomes flawless, you know. It’s crazy to still see the potential of how great and how good Jones could still become. He’s a man who’s run the who’s who. Who has a god-given ability and when you teach a guy who has ability a technique, to have discipline like himself, and is willing to learn. I mean, that’s what equals a straight GOAT status. That’s what puts Jon Jones into a league of his own.”
Henry Cejudo doing a goat sound when he saw Jon Jones 😂 🐐 pic.twitter.com/2hnE9oOztm
— MMA mania (@mmamania) January 17, 2023
“The simple fact that he finds the right engineers. He comes in, he’s humble. He’s all ears. It’s what every coach will want now. You want a good student. You want somebody that really retains the information that you’re giving or somebody that would be like, ‘Hey coach, what about this?’ Somebody that could also give you feedback too. Jon Jones, as good as he is, he’s still getting better and that’s just scary. So whether it’s Francis [Ngannou], Ciryl Gane, Stipe Miocic. There’s so many top heavyweights out there, but little do they know they’re only gonna have Jon Jones’ legacy and that’s just the facts.”
Jon Jones’ last appearance inside the Octagon came at UFC 247 in February 2020. ‘Bones’ defeated Dominick Reyes to retain the light heavyweight title. It was his 11th successful defense of the title since capturing it in March 2011. After clearing the 205-pound division of any viable contenders, Jones opted to vacate the light heavyweight crown as he bulked up for a move to heavyweight. Fans will finally be treated to that heavyweight debut on March 4 at UFC 285.