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Ben Askren ponders about Jon Jones’ long absence while he guesses what a prime ‘Bones’ would do to Ciryl Gane


Ben Askren has commented on Jon Jones’ eagerly awaited comeback following his protracted absence from MMA combat. Jones’ most recent contest saw him defeat Dominick Reyes by majority decision in February 2020, successfully defending the UFC light heavyweight championship.

After losing against Reyes in August 2020, “Bones” vacated the light heavyweight championship. Having said that, Jones will make his heavyweight debut this weekend after a three-year absence from the octagon. On March 4th, 2023, at UFC 285, Jones will compete for the vacant UFC heavyweight title against former interim champion Ciryl Gane.

Ben Askren, a well-known amateur wrestler, former Olympian, and former UFC champion, commented on Jones’ eagerly anticipated comeback match on Twitter. While “Bones” hasn’t participated in competition in almost three years, “Funky” predicted that it would be difficult to anticipate how he would fare. Tweeted the former UFC welterweight:

“We haven’t seen Jon in 3.5 years, so it’s difficult to say! He appears good and content, so perhaps he rules or perhaps he has grown older and lost his agility. No data since we last saw him in the cage a very long time ago.”

Jones made his UFC debut in August 2008 after making his professional MMA debut in April 2008. The 35-year-old is recognised as one of the best MMA competitors of all time. In contrast, Ciryl Gane debuted in the MMA in August 2018 and the UFC in August 2019. Many consider the 32-year-old “Bon Gamin” to be one of the sport’s top heavyweights right now.

To that end, Ben Askren chose a dominant Jon Jones in his heyday to defeat Ciryl Gane, though he added that it’s unclear whether ‘Bones’ is still in his peak. “Prime Jon Jones kills Cyril Gane, but who knows if he’s getting prime Jon because he hasn’t been in the cage in almost 4 years,” Askren wrote in a tweet.

Francis Ngannou puts forth his prediction for Jon Jones vs. Ciryl Gane

Francis Ngannou, a former heavyweight champion of the UFC, has a win against Ciryl Gane and has recently been mentioned as a possible opponent for Jon Jones. Since leaving the UFC earlier this year, Ngannou has been pursuing his dream of becoming a boxer and is looking to engage in other MMA competitions. He recently reviewed the Jones-Gane bout.

The Predator, in an interview with The Schmo, asserted that the result of the contest depended on whether Jones performs at his peak level following his protracted absence. He suggested that Jones may defeat Gane if he gives it his all and is aggressive. But if “Bones” plays defence, the fight would go the distance and the judges would declare the winner. As Ngannou said:

“This bout might end in a Knockout if Jon Jones comes up. He’s going to wrestle with [Gane] and apply some ground and pound, in my opinion. But if Jon Jones fights defensively, it might go the distance. Because they will both be defensive fighters in such case. Then it can last a long time.”

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