Fans have recently been treated to old footage of Jon Jones' interview with Ariel Helwani from seven years ago, where 'Bones' spoke of a move up to heavyweight. Helwani shared the footage amidst talk of Jones' much-anticipated return to the octagon against heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou.
Coming off his first title win over Daniel Cormier at UFC 182, Jones believed even then that a move to heavyweight was a mere eventuality. 'Bones' had no doubts about his strength, having wrestled throughout his life with his older brother Arthur Jones, who is an NFL veteran.
'Bones' also claimed that his sparring partners were usually heavyweights and rarely of his own size. When asked about a potential move to heavyweight in the future, the former UFC light heavyweight champ told Helwani back in 2015:
"Oh yeah, that's inevitable. That's going down... You know, now that I've developed so much physical strength. I know that I could hold my own against these guys. I have competed against heavyweights throughout my whole career. My older brother was ranked number 1 in the country throughout high school. I wrestled him everyday and he was a full 275 [lbs]. I have sparred with heavyweights my whole mixed martial arts career. Very rarely will you see me sparring someone my size or smaller. So I am totally comfortable going rounds with big guys."
Watch Jon Jones' interview below:
Francis Ngannou vs. Jon Jones is looking like a possibility
MMA Junkie's Nolan King recently reported that the UFC is plotting a heavyweight title fight between Francis Ngannou and Jon Jones in March 2023. King also reported that the promotion is considering Curtis Blaydes and Ciryl Gane as backup options if Ngannou can't fight in March.
With Ngannou recovering from his knee injury and his contract situation, for a while, it seemed like the UFC wouldn't wait for 'The Predator' to fight Jones, who has been eager to go for a while. However, Ngannou's coach Eric Nicksick has once again given fans hope of seeing the champion defend his throne against 'Bones'. In a cryptic tweet, Nicksick hinted that 'The Predator' might be returning in March:
"Ya'll busy March 4th?? #justwondering"
Ngannou also recently uploaded a video of himself kicking with the repaired leg.