After a three-year absence from mixed martial arts, Jon Jones will make his much awaited heavyweight debut this weekend at UFC 285. Recently, “Bones” talked openly about the delays that transpired before his comeback to the octagon.
The No. 10 pound-for-pound fighter said in an interview with ESPN MMA before UFC 285 that money was not the reason for his absence:
“My decision to delay my heavyweight debut wasn’t motivated by money, displeasure with the UFC, or anything else of the sort. I simply wanted to give it my all when I did return. A year ago, I thought I was prepared to go forward. We had to determine our opponents, and the UFC simply had a lot of moving factors, but we are now. We acquired Ciryl Gane, and I feel like right now everything is just falling into place for me.”
Jon Jones continued
“The day I made the decision to move up to heavyweight, I began to consider it. Over the past three years, my objective has been to win the heavyweight world championship. It is the subject of my prayers, my thoughts as I sleep, and my dreams. I will complete it because it is who I am… I simply know in my core that I am the world’s best boxer.”
The heavyweight title battle between current champion Francis Ngannou and Ciryl Gane, whom Jones will meet this weekend at UFC 285, was the moment “Bones” realised he would win the belt. The current light heavyweight champion will become the seventh multi-division champion in UFC history if he can defeat Gane.
The following video features Jon Jones discussing his heavyweight debut, beginning at 1:39:
Jon Jones questions Ciryl Gane’s long-term impact
Jon Jones has established himself as one of the best mixed martial artists ever. In the opening video of the UFC 285 Embedded: Vlog Series, “Bones” said that he is still working to establish his legacy and questioned the mindset of his rival:
“To me, winning is having significance attached to your name in 50 years. I’m pursuing this heavyweight championship for that reason. I could have left with my titles in hand and flown off into the distance. I’m not going to let a guy who has only recently arrived here win over me after all these years. I think of him in that way. He just arrived and is present. His statements made it clear to me that he didn’t think he would be around for very long, and I wasn’t going to lose to a guy like that.”
Gane previously admitted that he doesn’t practise unless a match is set up. Jones, however, seems motivated to keep building on his already outstanding résumé.