Jon Jones isn’t concerned about reclaiming his spot atop the pound-for-pound rankings.
This Saturday, Jones returns to the octagon for the first time in three years, when he faces Ciryl Gane for the vacant heavyweight title at UFC 285. Should he win, Jones will become the eighth multi-division champion in UFC history, and in the eyes of many, reclaim his spot as the best fighter in the sport. According to the UFC, that honor currently resides with featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski, despite his recent loss to Islam Makhachev, and Jones is happy enough to keep it that way.
“I’m honored to still be here,” Jones said at the UFC 285 Media Day. “It’s great to still be here. I’ve been inactive over the last three years when it comes to the UFC space…
“Volkanovski has been very active, and I do believe that he deserves to be the top fighter in the world, him and Islam. I think Volkanovski kept that title after a loss. He deserves it. He’s refreshing, he speaks well, his country loves him, he represents the sport well… I’m fighting to be the greatest fighter ever, not to be the pound-for-pound best right now. We have two different motivations, and I think there’s room for both of us at the top.”
Jones is already widely considered the greatest light heavyweight of all time and on the short list for greatest fighters to ever grace the cage. He currently holds the record for most wins in UFC title fight history with 14, and for much of his run, Jones has been viewed as the top fighter in MMA. That’s a nearly 10-year run atop the sport and at 35-years-old, and as he begins this new chapter of his career, up a weight class, Jones recognizes that he’s now the old man in the room.
“The MMA game is wild,” Jones said. “I have young men coming up to me and they’re like, ‘Dude, I started watching you when I was 10-years-old. Today I’m 22 years-old. I’ve been around for a long time, dude. I’ve got all these gray hairs in my beard. It’s wild.”
But come Saturday, Jones expects to continue delivering inside the cage, the same as he’s always done.
“I’m ready for whatever,” Jones said. “I’m ready to dominate. But if I don’t dominate and the fight goes five rounds, I’m ready to press forward, I’m ready for a dog fight, I’m ready to bleed and sweat and leave my heart out there. I’m ready for however it goes. I feel pretty prepared for victory.”
Signing. Luke Rockhold vs. Mike Perry, Eddie Alvarez vs. Chad Mendes set for BKFC 41 following two free agent signings.
USADA. Jon Jones feels exonerated due to USADA rule changes after being branded ‘steroid cheat.’
Release. Darren Till confirms he’s off UFC roster, reveals he asked for release.
Rivalry. Eddie Alvarez predicts Conor McGregor will knock out Michael Chandler: ‘It’s a mismatch.’
Boxing. Luke Rockhold on ‘one-trick pony’ Jake Paul losing to Tommy Fury: ‘He was what I thought he was.’
$$$. Jake Paul reveals early pay-per-view sales for Tommy Fury fight, expects to ‘run it back.’
The MMA Hour.
Mike Perry is making enemies with Jake Paul’s team.
Ian Garry talking about the UFC’s top welterweights.
No Bets Barred. Breaking down the best bets for UFC 285 and the return of Jon Jones.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
Them: Just relax
— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) March 1, 2023
My first thought as well.
Wait what?? This just feels wrong. Luke is way too big to fight Mike. Would love to see both of them fight, but someone in their actual weight divisions. This just feels like lazy matchmaking. https://t.co/O6bW2IVKp5
— Alan Jouban (@AlanJouban) March 1, 2023
Working with the great Steve Thompson. Givin’ back to the game! pic.twitter.com/uswXcJU51h
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) March 2, 2023
We’re trying so hard fight u but UFC thinks he’s easy fight . As u know I’m in last fight of the contract,so they wants someone to beat me Hunter doubts u can.
I suggest u try to convince, he thinks you’re not tough enough.
I ll be praying for this alahshalah
And shut up mtfk. pic.twitter.com/wbaMSXZwGZ
— Paulo Costa ( Borrachinha ) (@BorrachinhaMMA) March 1, 2023
Family ✊ … to the dark we go until its time to shine! https://t.co/s5fRf1RjSH
— Jordan Oliver (@that_dude_JO) March 1, 2023
Never, ever be this person.
What we deal with as fighters . Imma just start blasting Yal every time pic.twitter.com/UeEhP6t8gg
— Charles “InnerG” Johnson (@InnerGmma) March 1, 2023
Jake Paul’s manager Nakisa Bidarian responds to John Fury calling for them to pay up after his double or nothing bet with Tommy Fury… pic.twitter.com/WXQ3oJ6cJT
— Michael Benson (@MichaelBensonn) March 1, 2023
Not sure what you’re talking about but anything we receive at our office, from your mail to junk mail even, has been sent to you. Please make sure you change the address with the few vendors you may be referencing. We’ve asked your attorney numerous times to handle it. ♂️ https://t.co/MUplp3qbb6
— malki kawa (@malkikawa) March 1, 2023
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