UFC 285: Jon Jones explains his new fighting style – ‘I want to save brain cells’
- New UFC heavyweight champion hints his more risk-averse strategy here to stay after submitting Ciryl Gane in 2 minutes
- ‘Getting away from all the kickboxing … and fighting on the ground is just a lot more advantageous,’ Jones says
Jon Jones has hinted his new more risk-averse style is here to stay after submitting Ciryl Gane in just over 2 minutes to become the UFC heavyweight champion on Saturday night.
The 35-year-old American (27-1, 1 no contest) underlined his status as the “GOAT” (greatest of all time) in mixed martial arts after capturing a second divisional title in the main event of UFC 285.
“Bones” made light work of former interim champion Gane, with the Frenchman tapping to a guillotine choke against the fence at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Jones – who had last fought three years ago, before vacating his light heavyweight title in August 2020 – only absorbed 6 significant strikes, landing five himself, with his takedowns and ground game proving the difference.
“That’s something I’ve been doing my whole life, wrestling and grappling,” he told reporters after his win. “My jiu-jitsu and wrestling confidence is at an all time high.
“That’s just may be my style moving forward, getting away from all the kickboxing. I want to save brain cells, and fighting on the ground is just a lot more advantageous.”
Jones revealed he did not really have a choice, anyway, after coming into the fight with an injury that compromised his striking.
“There’s always a feeling out process,” he said. “I actually was dealing with a slight injury and I didn’t really spar before this fight, just three times in this training camp.
“My striking felt a little unfamiliar. I drilled a lot but didn’t spar. When I was out there it was almost like I was trying to remember how to do it, how to fight on the feet for a moment. But thank God it didn’t last too long, and I was able to get my hands on him.”
Jones ruled over the UFC’s light heavyweight division four times but had never lost the title, being stripped of it on three occasions for an out-of-cage controversy and two drug test failures.
He has spent the last two and a half years bulking up for a log-mooted move up to heavyweight, and the results clearly paid off despite some fans mocking his chubbier physique.
“Now I’ve been powerlifting and living a martial arts lifestyle, I truly believe I’m the strongest heavyweight in the division,” Jones said.
“There’s guys who can squat more, bench more, but when it comes to total strength and muscular endurance and knowing how to pace yourself I’m one of the most fit athletes in the game. I’m excited for the future. I think some of my best performances are going to be coming in the next year or so.”
The next fight looks certain to be against former heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic, who was sitting cageside in Las Vegas and accepted Jones’ call out.
“I’ve got to talk to my coaching staff and see what they think, but we took zero damage tonight,” Jones added. “I’m getting right back to practice.
“I believe in my next fight I will go in with an even higher level of confidence, higher endurance, which will be hard to beat because I’m in really great condition.
“The next fight is going to be awesome. I say it respectfully to Stipe. I would take time off from being a firefighter right now, and I mean that with all due respect.
“My whole world is focused on him. This is the biggest opportunity in my life, to beat the heavyweight ‘GOAT’. I’m gonna give it everything I’ve got. I’m gonna not only beat Stipe Miocic, I’m gonna finish Stipe Miocic before the championship rounds.”
UFC: Jon Jones on new fighting style – ‘I want to save brain cells.’ (2023b, March 6). South China Morning Post. https://www.scmp.com/sport/martial-arts/mixed-martial-arts/article/3212474/ufc-285-jon-jones-explains-his-new-fighting-style-i-want-save-brain-cells