Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is finally on the verge of making his heavyweight debut and will be in at least a few fights.
Jones (26-1 in MMA, 20-1 in UFC) has been hinting at a move to heavyweight for years, but Cyril will be competing for the vacant heavyweight title at UFC 285 in March. It will become a reality when playing against Gain. The news was officially announced by UFC President Dana White after images of the fight matchup were prematurely shown outside T-Mobile Arena after UFC Fight Night 217.
The heavyweight title became vacant after the UFC and Francis Ngannou were unable to agree a new contract, resulting in the former champion’s immediate release from the promotion.
Jones said he’s excited to compete after being out of the sport for over three years since he last fought Dominic Reyes at UFC 247 in February 2020.
“I feel like I’m in a really good place,” Jones told MMA Underground. “MMA also feels fun. Obviously, being out for three years and being in a new division, there are a lot of questions that keep me up at night, but it keeps me sharp. It’s the kind of thing that feels like it wasn’t at the end of heavyweight, towards the end it felt like another day in the office. is a very different feeling.Nervousness, anxiety – it’s all back.I do well when I’m under pressure.”
His first opponent at heavyweight is former interim champion Gane (MMA 11-1, UFC 8-1). Jones knows a fighter like Gane has challenges, but he believes the bigger fight in his heavyweight debut was against Ngannou.
“It (takes something away),” said Jones. “I think Francis is the more intimidating of the two. As far as Americans go, I feel like he’s more known in America. Cyril is relatively unknown.
“Of course Francis had the belt. I wish I had taken it from him. , that’s the fight that actually means the most to me. I haven’t seen Ciryl Gane at all.”
Jones admits he was disappointed not to be able to fight Ngannou, but he will have to deal with the reality of the challenges ahead.
Given his UFC light heavyweight streak, which began in 2008, and his recent absence from the sport, there are questions about how long he will stay at heavyweight. “Bones” made his career prospects clear in the form of a guarantee.
“My immediate goal is to beat Cyril Gaine and Stipe Miocic,” Jones said. “Then we’ll talk to the UFC and see what makes sense, but I’ll guarantee the fans at least two more fights.”