Former UFC light heavyweight kingpin Jon Jones will return to the octagon at next Saturday’s UFC 232 event for a title fight rematch with Alexander Gustafsson.
Jones and Gustafsson originally collided at UFC 165 in Toronto and produced one of the greatest fights in UFC history.
“Bones” ultimately was awarded a unanimous decision victory after enduring twenty-five minutes of war with “The Mauler”.
Jon Jones will enter the UFC 232 main event sporting a professional record of 22-1.
Jones lone blemish came via disqualification, this after he struck Matt Hamill with illegal elbows at the TUF 10 Finale event in 2009.
Boasting a near-perfect record, and holding a decisive win over reigning ‘champ champ’ Daniel Cormier, many fans and analysts believe that Jon Jones is the greatest fighter of all time.
During Thursday’s UFC 232 media conference call, Jones touched on the being in the GOAT conversation and why he doesn’t really worry about the subject.
“I feel like there will always be a debate about who is the best, whoever is the best is whoever is hot at the current moment.” Jones stated (as transcribed by MMAFighting). “I feel like MMA fans are very quick to forget a lot of peoples’ accomplishments.”
Jones used former UFC champions Jose Aldo and Anderson Silva as prime examples.
“For example, Anderson Silva is not even considered to be in the conversation anymore as the GOAT, which is a shame because he’s done so much for our sport. Jose Aldo, these guys have been kicking ass for years, they’ve done so much for our sport and then one defeat, and now they’re not the best any more. I understand that the conversation will always just be an opinion and I’ve just got to focus on the things that I can control, which is preparing myself the best that I can for each fight and making sure my hand is raised at the end of the day.”
Jon Jones has not competed since UFC 214 in August of 2017, where he defeated Daniel Cormier via third-round TKO. That ruling was later overturned to a no-contest, this after “Bones” failed one of his USADA drug tests.
Having recently completed his suspension, Jones believes that his story is something the American public could get behind.
“I feel like in America, people love the comeback story,” he said. “I feel like they love to build athletes up, people lap celebrities up and a lot of people really enjoy watching people fall, but a lot of people really enjoy watching people climb up after bullshit. I’m aware of that and my goal is to just climb back up, to get it right once and for all and show people a great comeback story.”
Jones was then asked what he hopes will be his final legacy within the sport.
“What is my legacy? What would I want it to be? Let’s see here, just being a bad motherf*cker at the end of the day. Just a bad dude, man. Am I perfect? No. Am I a Christian who swears? Yes. Do I love God? Yes. Do I love my family? Yes. Am I bad motherf*cker in that ring? Yes,” Jones said. “That’s it, man. One thing I’m realizing is, being the champion, you don’t have to wear a suit everyday, you don’t have to be politically correct and have all the kids look up to you and say that you’re such an angel. Who said that’s what a champion has to be?”
Jon Jones continued:
“A champion is guy that goes out there after being cut in the first round of the fight, gets taken down for the first time ever and fights with one eye shut half the fight. A champion is a guy who gets armbarred and friggin’ finishes Vitor Belfort, finishes the fight with one arm. Dude, that’s a champion to me, just a bad motherf*cker. That’s what I want my legacy to be. Call me a good person or a bad person, call me a hypocrite, call me what you want. I know I’m a bad dude and that’s what a champion is to me: The baddest dude with the biggest heart and the biggest balls — that’s me.”
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