Jon Jones is oozing confidence ahead of his comeback at UFC 285.
After three years away, the former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion will return at a new weight class for a new throne. Jones will challenge Ciryl Gane for the vacant heavyweight title on March 4th in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Jones’ ‘Major Advantage’ Over Gane
The well-rounded ‘Bones’ has no doubt he’ll beat Gane no matter where the fight goes, especially should it reach the ground.
“It’s hard to say how it’s gonna all play out. Any way it plays out, I’ll be ready,” Jones told RMC Sport. “If we end up kickboxing the whole night, I do believe I’ll win on the feet. If I end up wrestling him, I’ll win on the ground. Any way the fight plays out, I’ll be ready.
“I do feel like I have a major grappling advantage in this fight for sure. I watched Ciryl lose to Francis Ngannou. Francis was able to take him down, hold him down, control him. I do believe that when I get Ciryl to the ground, he won’t get back up.”
What About Gane’s Speed?
While Jones may have an edge over Gane in the wrestling department, people are led to believe that Gane will have the speed advantage over the former light heavyweight. However for Jones, this is not uncharted territory for him.
“I feel like I’m just used to a fast pace of fighting,” Jones explained. “I’m used to guys that are really fast. Neurologically, speed is speed, no matter how much I weigh or how much Ciryl weighs. I’m used to really fast athletes. My defense is used to really fast athletes and I don’t believe that Gane is faster than anything I’ve ever seen.”
Jones Says He Isn’t The Same Fighter He Once Was
Ahead of his return at UFC 285, many think we will see the Jon Jones of old, the high-caliber fighter that took out generations of light heavyweight challengers. But evolving in his time away from the cage, ‘Bones’ believes we’ll see a brand new version of himself at heavyweight and he’ll try to showcase it by stopping Gane within the distance.
“I’m not the same fighter anymore,” Jones continued. “My ability to lay hands on people, my confidence is through the roof right now. My takedowns are more explosive than they’ve ever been. My ground and pound hits a little bit harder. I do believe that I’ll finish the fight.
“Gane’s best way of lasting five rounds with me is to try to keep the fight on the feet. I don’t believe he’ll be able to do that. Outside of that, I don’t think he’s better than me at anything. I feel like I have great boxing right now, better than it used to be. I have great kickboxing, great defense, great wrestling and jiu-jitsu. I feel like I’m just a better martial artist than him. I take the sport very serious and I think that will show when we’re in front of each other.”