Jon Jones isn’t exactly holding much doubt going into the second light heavyweight title defense in his current reign.
On July 6, Jones will defend his UFC gold against Thiago Santos. The bout will headline UFC 239 in Las Vegas. While Jones has felt nervous going into previous pivotal bouts, things aren’t quite as urgent this go-round.
Speaking to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, Jones admitted that nerves are a bit of a non-factor going into his title defense against Santos:
“It just feels all like another day at the office for me at this point. It’s just also familiar. High-pressure moments, tough opponents, fighting the next scariest guy, the guy who’s been on the tear. And it’s all so familiar right now. It’s almost too comfortable in this space. I would appreciate being a little more nervous. It’ll make me feel like I’m more ready, but I am ready and I feel great.”
When asked when’s the last time he was nervous before a fight, Jon Jones said it was his Dec. 2018 rematch with Alexander Gustafsson.
“I think the Gustafsson [rematch]. It can’t help but to be. He’s the one person that put me in a hospital after 10 years of fighting. Put me on morphine. The guy who was just as tall just as long as me. With Gustafsson I had a lot of questions about how I would perform in a rematch and those questions were answered. I like the answers.”
Jon Jones will be going into the Santos fight as a heavy favorite. “Marreta” is riding a four-fight winning streak and has beaten Jan Blachowicz, Jimi Manuwa, Eryk Anders, and Kevin Holland in that span.
Will the lack of nerves impact Jon Jones’ performance at UFC 239 or will it be business as usual?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 6/30/2019.