UFC News: Jon Jones' exciting plans for 2019 revealed
What's the story?
He even gave us a glimpse into the current psyche of the champion and sounded optimistic about the near future.
In case you didn't know...
Jones returned to the Octagon for the first time in over year at UFC 232 in December last year to take on Alexander Gustafsson for the then-vacant Light Heavyweight title.
The build-up to the fight was marred by Jones testing positive for picograms of Turinabol. The card was shifted to a new venue altogether but the inconveniences and criticism didn't hinder Jones from making a strong statement.
The polarizing star outclassed the Mauler to notch up a third-round TKO finish and subsequently enough, become a two-time undisputed Light Heavyweight champion.
He cleared all the post-fight drug tests and instead of taking some time off, was announced to headline the UFC 235 card against Anthony Smith for the 205 lbs strap.
It should be noted that Jones has fought just thrice since 2015 owing to failed drug tests and code of conduct violations but that trend is all set to change as he could have quite a busy 2019.
The heart of the matter
Gibson was interviewed by MMAWeekly during which he opened up about his client's renewed vigor. Gibson revealed that Jones returned to the gym this week, which is a first considering that the controversial fighter is known to take a hiatus after every big win. Jones is the guy who would normally retreat to a beach after a victory and would think of anything but fighting.
However, he is already strategizing his moves for his upcoming title defense.
Gibson said, "Jon owes it to himself, he owes it to his family, he owes it to the fans, to the UFC, to the team, to keep this momentum going."
He explained that they never rush into fights and have had a clear history of rejecting fights that don't match Jones' timeline. He added that Jones is presumed to compete three times this year and each challenge is expected to be as tough as they come.
Gibson highlighted the hunger that has engulfed Jones' camp and feels no one is in the mood to sit back enjoy the emphatic UFC 232 win. He added, "We want to get right back to work because I agree if Jon really chooses to set this schedule as he’s envisioned, he’s going to separate himself from everybody else on this GOAT discussion if he chooses to."
He concluded by hoping that Bones' increased activity would instill some fear in the minds of young prospective contenders who wish 'to come and get some'.
The 31-year-old will put his Light Heavyweight title on the line against #3 ranked contender Anthony Smith at UFC 235 in Las Vegas on March 2nd. However, Jones is awaiting his fight license to be approved by the NAC which explains why the bout doesn't yet feature on the official page for UFC 235 on the promotion's website.
The card is stacked to the core that will feature Ben Askren's UFC debut against Robbie Lawler as well as the Welterweight title fight between Tyron Woodley and Kamaru Usman.