Islam Makhachev isn’t convinced that Jon Jones turn in a performance against Ciryl Gane that will impress fans.
Makhachev will soon find himself at the number one spot on the official pound-for-pound rankings after he defeated reigning UFC Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 284. The bout was contested for Makhachev’s lightweight gold.
Some don’t believe Makhachev will have the distinction of being the pound-for-pound top fighter in the UFC for long. That’s because Jon Jones, who once ruled the pound-for-pound list, will be returning at UFC 285 on March 4. He’ll be moving up to the heavyweight division to take on Gane for the UFC Heavyweight Championship.
During the UFC 284 post-fight press conference, Islam Makhachev explained why he feels he’ll remain at the top of the pound-for-pound list regardless of the outcome of Jones vs. Gane (h/t MMAJunkie.com).
“Jon Jones is a great fighter, of course,” Makhachev said. “He is the best. Last time, he won a split decision. He has always hard fights. I don’t know. I don’t think after his fight it’s going to impress people. Why am I best right now? Because I beat best fighter in the world. That’s why I think I more deserve this. If somebody wants to be best, I’m coming.”
Jones hasn’t been seen inside the Octagon since early 2020. He successfully defended the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship against Dominick Reyes. “Bones” and the UFC brass ended up being at odds over pay, an issue that has since been resolved. Jones also took some time off to prepare his body for a move up to heavyweight.