Jon Jones is back in action next Saturday July 6th at UFC 239 against Thiago Santos, marking the third time since emerging from USADA suspension at the end of 2018 that the GOAT candidate will fight. Jones is making up for lost time after a rocky five year period, and in a new interview with ESPN explained his plan to fight as much as possible and the advantages it gave him.
”Greg Jackson always talks to me about Rome and how they were so dominant because they fought all the time,” Jones said. “And he wants that to be the idea for me, to be extremely active and just get so comfortable with combat and that’s where we’re at. I’m not injured anywhere and it just feels like another day at the office for me at this point, it’s all so familiar. High pressure moments, tough opponents, fighting the next scariest guy, the guy that’s on a tear. And it’s all so familiar right now.”
”It’s almost too comfortable in this space,” he added with a little smile. “I’d appreciate being a little more nervous, it would make me feel like I’m more ready. But I am ready and I feel great.”
ESPN’s Brett Okamoto asked him when he was last nervous, and he admitted it was his return fight and rematch against Alexander Gustafsson.
”Last time, Gustafsson 2,” Jones said. “You can’t help it, he was the one person that put me in the hospital after 10 years of fighting. Put me on morphine. The guy who was just as tall, just as long as me. Gustafsson, I had a lot of questions about how I would perform in a rematch against Gustafsson. And those questions were answered, and I liked the answers.”
He also affirmed he was committed to staying at 205 pounds and clearing out the new crop of contenders coming up, along with more of the big middleweight names moving up. And while heavyweight was a possibility, it’d take the right fight and the right numbers.
”I am interested at fighting at heavyweight, but I am aware there’s a lot of work to be done in the light heavyweight division,” he said. “There’s a lot of big fights people want to see me have in the light heavyweight division. And so there’s really no need for me to go to heavyweight.”
“I’m doing really well where I’m at. I’m making weight really easily. And I feel like when the UFC approaches me about a fight that they feel will be a mega-fight, and they come withe numbers that will make sense for me to do that, then I’ll totally do that. But right now, the UFC, I think they’re happy with me being the dominant light heavyweight champion.”
”To answer this question shorter: It’s gonna take that checkbook for me to bounce up to heavyweight.”
Regarding Daniel Cormier specifically?
”There’s still a lot of interest in me fighting Daniel Cormier for some reason,” Jones said. “I don’t really know what it is. The first one I won by unanimous decision and the second I won by knockout, so I don’t know why people want to see us fight again so bad. But I guess at heavyweight that would add a couple factors. So if that’s the fight the world wants to see, the UFC gives the fans what they want so they just have to help me do that.”