Jon Jones believes Ciryl Gane is the most incomplete heavyweight currently ranked in the division’s top five.
The former 205-pound champion will return this Saturday night, making his long-teased transition to the heavyweight division for a main event clash with No. 1 ranked contender Ciryl Gane for the vacant UFC heavyweight championship. Days out from his highly anticipated return, ‘Bones’ addressed the media on Wednesday to answer questions about his opponent. That’s when Jon Jones revealed his true feelings about Gane and his seemingly limited skill set.
“I feel like Ciryl is the most incomplete fighter in the top five right now,” Jones said at the UFC 285 media event. “He has really good striking and he has really good footwork, but I’ve watched his fights. He got tired in his last fight against Francis Ngannou. All that fancy footwork. Him supposedly being the fastest heavyweight that we’ve ever seen. All that went away. One or two takedowns. Making him earn getting back to his feet, that tired him out big time.
“I’m a wrestler and I wrestle people a lot and it’s a different type of endurance. A lot of people don’t like having someone on top of them and having to earn their way back up to the feet. I watched Francis Ngannou in that last fight. Francis could barely move his feet. He could barely lift his legs. He was walking so slowly and Gane didn’t destroy Francis. Francis wins his fights by first-round knockouts, second round knockouts. Francis outworked Ciryl Gane. Ciryl Gane’s coach said it best. Ciryl is talented, Francis is a hard worker.”
Light Heavyweight Vs Heavyweight Jon Jones. pic.twitter.com/Y8Q53B5Xee
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Jon Jones Can’t See Himself Losing to Gane on Saturday Night
For all of Gane’s accomplishments inside the Octagon, many fans were left wondering how good he could truly be if he worked a little harder. By his own admission, Gane typically does not train unless he has a fight booked. That lackluster approach to improving his skills inside the cage could eventually come back to bite him. It nearly did against Tai Tuivasa last year. Now he is set to square off with the man many consider to be the greatest fighter in the history of the sport.
“I just don’t see Ciryl being able to handle a guy like me,” Jones said. “I just don’t see it. I work very hard. I know I talk confidently, but I respect him so much. Like every opponent, I give it my all, I just can’t see myself losing to a guy like Ciryl Gane. Not getting outworked by Francis. I just can’t imagine him outworking me when he couldn’t outwork Francis. I just can’t see that happening.”
Saturday’s UFC heavyweight championship bout will be Jon Jones’ 16th straight title fight inside the Octagon since defeating ‘Shogun’ Rua at UFC 128 more than a decade ago.