Jon Jones had to put his light heavyweight title on the line just moments after witnessing his friend and training partner Holly Holm suffer a brutal knockout loss to Amanda Nunes at UFC 239.
The former women’s bantamweight queen, Holm, fell short in her bid to dethrone the current ‘champ champ’, this after eating a nasty head kick in the contests opening round.
Jones, who took defeated Thiago Santos via split decision later in the UFC 239 main event, discussed how Holly Holm’s loss to ‘The Lioness’ impacted his performance against ‘Marreta’.
“It was very hard for me to witness that,” Jon Jones explained during a UFC 239 post-fight media scrum. “Mentally, I had to be prepared for anything. I’ve had a few nights where my teammates have come up short. And my coaches always tell me, ‘Jon, you just need to keep your head in the game.’ It was tough for all of us because the room was just so silent.”
Jon Jones later revealed that he gave some words of encouragement to ‘The Preachers Daughter’ just moments before he made his walk to the octagon.
“I told her that I was really proud of her. I told her just being a woman that’s willing to go out there on national TV and face someone like Ronda Rousey and face the Amanda Nunes’ of the world, like, dude that is Barbie doll worthy. Little girls should have Barbie’s of Holly Holm because she is truly courageous.” Jon Jones said. “It takes a lot to do what she’s doing. To be vulnerable in front of the world. I told her she has nothing to hang her head about.”
Holly Holm (12-5 MMA) has now gone just 2-5 over her past seven octagon appearances. During that stretch she has suffered losses to Miesha Tate, Valentina Shevchenko, Germaine de Randamie, Cris Cyborg and now Amanda Nunes.
As for Jon Jones, the reigning UFC light heavyweight champion has plenty of options for his next fight. The 205lbs division has perennial contenders in the form of Jan Blachowicz, Johnny Walker, Corey Anderson and Dominick Reyes.
And of course, there always is a potential trilogy bout with Daniel Cormier if the UFC is willing to pay up.
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