Jon Jones has always considered himself a student of the game, but it appears at UFC 285 he plans on teaching Ciryl Gane a thing or two.
Jones called Gane “most inept” among top-five heavyweights before their fight on Saturday night. Jones explained to us why he thinks Gane is slightly less than Jones after months of intense training and studying film. This was especially true when considering his MMA skill set.
“I respect Ciryl Gane, I really do,” Jones said at the UFC 285 pre-fight press conference. Although I say it humbly, I have a great deal of film knowledge and can see many patterns in films.
“When he is in one stance, there’s things he really loves to do. He often goes back to the same place. He has many tendencies .”
when he is in the opposing stand.
Prior to his rematch against Daniel Cormier in 2017, Jones openly pointed out a pattern he saw in his longtime rival; he said Cormier was susceptible to a head kick as a counter strike. Cormier did the same thing, but Jones made the kick, which led to Cormier’s third round knockout.
While he’s not calling his shot quite as emphatically this time around, Jones points specifically at Gane’s grappling. That could be a major area of attention for the ex-champ when they finally clash in the octagon.
“I realize he doesn’t have much wrestling,” Jones said. Jones said, “He relies upon evasion and trying to escape. Instead of solid defense, he relies more on jiu jisu. Same with the ground game. I watched Francis Ngannou be able to rack up maybe five or six minutes of top time in that fight, and Francis is not a guy that’s known to control people on top.
“He can strike down. I don’t think defensively, he’s a very strong kickboxer. He has a really nice offense. He is most effective in his footwork. Two other big holes are jiu-jitsu and wrestling.”
When it comes to compliments, Jones has always viewed Gane as a dangerous opponent on the feet, which seems logical considering the French heavyweight comes from a Muay Thai background.
Jones criticized Gane’s shortcomings in striking late in fights with the Frenchman.
” Jones stated that Jones’ footwork was unusual for heavyweights. “It’s not something he sustains for an entire fight. Round 1, Round 2, maybe even Round 3, depending on how things are going, he moves around a lot more than the average heavyweight. However, I have seen footage of him moving a lot more than the average heavyweight.
” Then there is another aspect that sets him apart. A lot of heavyweights rely on good defense to stop punches or kicks. Ciryl Gane is quick to get back up. That’s because he has the gift of being able to move his feet. Apart from that, everything in his skill-set is something I have seen before .”
As the press conference came to a close, Jones and Gane faced off for the first time with the heavyweights coming nose-to-nose ahead of their main event matchup at UFC 285.
Unlike so many of his past fights, Jones maintained eye contact with Gane, as if truly sizing up his opponent for the first time.
” “He looks like an heavyweight,” Jones stated of Gane before the staredown. Jones said of Gane, “A big boy and a great athlete. I am excited to take on the .”