Former UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones wanted to be afraid again.
‘Bones’ has been out of the cage since his clash with Dominick Reyes at UFC 247 in February 2020. In that outing, the challenger gave all he had, but Jones retained by a controversial unanimous decision. Despite retaining his title, this was the last time the champion would compete at 205 pounds.
Three years later, he’s finally slated to make his return next month against Ciryl Gane. ‘Bon Gamin’ and Jones will battle for the vacant heavyweight title in the main event of UFC 285. The title was famously vacated after Francis Ngannou exited the promotion last month as champion.
The fight is expected to be arguably the biggest test of Jon Jones’s career thus far, and that’s something he’s happy about. In a recent interview on Unlocking the Cage with Jimmy Smith, the former champion discussed his return.
There, Jones admitted that the main motivation behind his heavyweight move was a want to be afraid. The former champion also revealed that recent challengers such as Dominick Reyes didn’t excite him and that he didn’t watch much film of many recent opponents.
“I stopped studying footage as much, I started just looking forward to another day at the office. The fear was gone, I didn’t really fear these guys,” Jon Jones stated in the interview. I wasn’t happy with my pay, either. “I was starting to fight guys like [Dominick] Reyes who had been dreaming of fighting me since college and he was just relatively unknown to the general public.” (h/t MMA News)
He continued, “So I just wanted more. I wanted to be nervous again, I wanted to have fear again. I think fear is healthy and now we’re in this position [at heavyweight].”
What do you make of these comments? Are you excited about Jon Jones’s return? Sound off in the comment section below PENN Nation!