To quote Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa as Shang Tsung in the 1995 version of the film Mortal Kombat, "it has begun". The former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has begun changing his 6'4" frame.
Arguably one of the MMA G.O.A.T.s, Jon Jones an absolute gym freak, like his NFL brothers. He's now rag dolling weight in the gym like Khabib Nurmagomedov does to an opponent. Saturday, on Twitter, he posted just a small clip of early rep squats before the real heavy stuff.
While Jon Jones and Francis Ngannou have engaged in an online sparring battle, his focus was is and always will be to go after the belt. And publicly Stipe Miocic has cooled on re-matching "The Predator". Instead, he has shared an interest in fighting the former 205-champion.
And why not? A fight with Jones looked at as the G.O.A.T. after just having a trilogy with that man's chief rival and another mount Rushmore fighter in Daniel Cormier makes him more money. And as Floyd Mayweather says:
"if it don't make dollars.... it don't make sense".
After all, that's what life is all about. Not that a Stipe - Ngannou 2 fight is a bad thing but the latter was so outworked the first time. Ngannou though has climbed back up the ladder in devastating form and he feels by looking at Jon or even contemplating boxing Stipe's just avoiding him.
The fighters that have gone from 205 to heavyweight have made the move relatively simple. But very few have put the time, and energy into it, along with the studying that Jones will do. The closest might be Randy Couture. But the education on nutrition is a lot different now than back then.
It will be a different process for the lean bodied Jones to bulk up. But once he's there, there'll only be one big question others have had to face also. Can his abilities transfer up?
There's no denying his in cage fight IQ is top level. His defense is still incredible, offensively though is there an ever so slight dip. But his JacksonWink MMA team will no doubt have him ready. But as Miocic said, this is where the big boys play. And it just takes one shot to sleep, someone.
And the matchups no matter what order they happen will all be something to see. It doesn't matter if it's Derrick Lewis, Curtis Blaydes, Ngannou, Miocic, or even Alistair Overeem. There isn't a fight there that's not the main event slot.
The other thing that has to be taken into account is if he fights at The Apex, it's the smaller cage. And that brings a whole other list of issues in fighting Jones. But first things first in his baby steps on this yellow brick road path. Size matters and he needs to put it on. And you can safely bet his team is hoping it doesn't slow him down.Published 31 Aug 2020, 03:19 IST