Former two-time UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has reiterated his striking confidence ahead of his return against Ciryl Gane this weekend.
For the first time in over three years, a fight week culminating in a Jones-headlined pay-per-view has begun. And after dropping the 205-pound belt in 2020, “Bones” is making his comeback in a new environment.
Following a lengthy transition phase, Jones is just days away from entering the Octagon as a heavyweight for the very first time. With Francis Ngannou vacating the title and departing the promotion, Jones will meet former interim champ Gane for the belt this weekend at UFC 285.
While a bout with “The Predator” was widely seen as the blockbuster option for Jones’ return, many have opined that “Bon Gamin” presents a tougher challenge owing to his elusive and technical striking game, which initially had him in control against Ngannou last January prior to some fight-changing takedowns.
But in Jones’ eyes, the former undefeated Muay Thai pro’s standup game is nothing new.
Jon Jones Doubles Down On Striking Confidence Versus Ciryl Gane
Earlier this month, Jon Jones answered questions from fans on social media, one of whom asked whether Gane represents the best striker the Rochester native has ever faced. The former light heavyweight king was quick to dismiss that notion, naming a number of previous opponents he sees as more capable on the feet.
And having re-watched his victory over one individual he listed as superior with the hands, Jon Jones returned to Twitter to reiterate his take on Gane’s striking and question those who regard the Frenchman in such high regard.
“Man I just finished watching my Thiago Santos fight again. I think it’s crazy that you guys consider (Gane) the most technical kickboxer I’ve ever faced,” Jones wrote. “Everything Thiago did have bad intentions on it. Dude had lightning speed, power, explosiveness. Crazy versatility.
“(Gane’s) last three opponents had terrible defense. Those guys couldn’t stop a kick if their life depended on it. He’s fought flat footed boxers his last three fights,” Jon Jones concluded.
In his last three Octagon outings, Gane collided with Derrick Lewis, Francis Ngannou, and Tai Tuivasa. After dominating “The Black Beast” en route to a knockout win, the French star found success on the feet against “The Predator” prior to having some grappling deficiencies exposed.
Most recently, “Bon Gamin” returned to the win column at the expense of “Bam Bam.” In front of his home crowd in Paris, France, the former interim titleholder recovered from a knockdown to stop Tuivasa in the third round.
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