Jon Jones has trained hundreds of rounds with several UFC heavyweight fighters to prepare for his move up to the division.
Jon Jones' coach Brandon Gibson highlighted Bones' preparation at Jackson's MMA gym for the move in an interview with MMA Fighting. Gibson assured fans that Jon Jones had been equally dominating against the 265-pounders who have hit the gym as he had been with the entire light heavyweight division.
Jones, 33, vacated his light heavyweight belt earlier this year, with his eyes set on the heavyweight title. The two-time 205-pounds champion is committed to bringing his body up to the heavyweight level. He later said that he decided to be intimidated and rechallenged by his opponents, after dominating the light heavyweight division.
During the interview, Gibson revealed that Jones has sparred for hours with top UFC heavyweights such as Alistair Overeem, Andrei Arlovski, and Travis Browne.
"Heavyweight’s a different animal, but Jon’s spent a lot of his career training with some of the best heavyweights in the world. I’ve seen Jon do hundreds of rounds with guys like [Alistair] Overeem and [Andrei] Arlovski and Travis Browne. We’ve had a plethora of great heavyweights come through Jackson’s, and Jon has been Jon Jones with all of them."
Jon Jones has kept his followers updated on his progress, and shared the above image of himself training at 240 pounds a while back.
Coach thinks weight disadvantage will not make a major difference
Jon Jones has always fought in light heavyweight, and quite a few fans have expressed concern over his adaptability to a higher weight class. However, his coach has complete confidence over the tremendous fight IQ of 'Bones', which he believes will outweigh any pound advantage his heavyweight opponent might have.
"Jon’s skill level is so high, his fight IQ is so high, that I don’t think somebody having a 20-pound advantage over Jon is going to make that much of a difference. He’s just such a skilled martial artist. I think the weight class intrigues Jon."
Whether his skills prove enough to bridge the poundage difference or not, Jon Jones will still have a significant reach advantage over most of the heavyweights in UFC. With a reach of 84.5, Jon Jones has a match only in the tallest UFC fighter, Stefan Struve. None of the other fighters in this division or any other has a reach this impressive.Published 29 Dec 2020, 02:10 IST