Jon Jones has gotten a bit of flack for his performance against Ovince Saint Preux at UFC 197. “OSP” stepped in on three weeks notice when Jones’ original opponent Daniel Cormier was forced out of their bout due to an injury.
Jones’ wrestling coach Izzy Martinez attributed part of the lackluster performance due to the new opponent being given to them on short notice.
“I just think Jonny was…he’s a programmed fighter so it’s kind of crazy with Jon,” Martinez told Brian Stann on Toe-2-Toe (transcribed by MMA Fighting). “We were okay with him taking the fight but I don’t think Jon Jones will ever take a short notice fight again because there are too many variables that we didn’t prepare for. When you’re so focused on one person, and then you get a different person, you know it’s tough.”
“We’re not making excuses. I don’t ever make excuses. It is what it is. OSP’s a stud. He gave us a great fight. But I’ll tell you what Jonny’s got to make some adjustments. Short notice fights aren’t good for Jon. Even though he’s the best fighter in the world, still that’s not what we are programmed to do. We’re programmed to literally have a great team around us, dissect this guy, and really break it down so when we’re out there we’ve been through every possible scenario, every possible reach advantage or submission hold or grappling takedown. We’ve gone through all of those protocols. And it was unfortunate because we only had three weeks to do that.”
Martinez said that Saint Preux’s ability to fight both orthodox and southpaw threw Jones off a bit.
“We were anticipating an orthodox fighter with Daniel Cormier. Then all of a sudden with three weeks left we’re going for a southpaw fighter. Then when we get to the fight, OSP’s fighting us in orthodox! So I think that played a little bit of a factor with Jon because Jon was so focused on preparing for orthodox Cormier to a southpaw, then all of a sudden [Saint Preux] is coming out orthodox.”
Jon Jones is now set to take on Daniel Cormier for the undisputed UFC light heavyweight title at UFC 200 on July 9.
“It was a great warmup fight. I’ll tell you what, DC’s in trouble now.”