The combat sports world is still waiting to see if Jon Jones will finally make his Heavyweight debut later this year, which is currently rumored to be against former 265-pound champion, Stipe Miocic.
UFC’s former Light Heavyweight champion hasn’t competed since defeating Dominick Reyes in Feb. 2020, and then subsequently vacated his title six months later. “Bones” has been busy building up his body to make the transition to the 265-pound division, and one of his training partners — Yorgan De Castro — says he has what it takes to take out the biggest and best of them.
According to “The Mad Titan,” Jones is so good everywhere that it’s going to be hard for any Heavyweight to top him.
“It would have to be someone with good ground game, like Fabricio Werdum, to maybe give him some problem on the ground,” De Castro said in an interview with MMA Fighting. “I don’t see anyone else at Heavyweight with a good enough wrestling or ground game. And if they have good wrestling, Jones will be superior on the feet.”
De Castro feels a Miocic showdown would be great for Jones’ debut, but it won’t end well for the former 265-pound title holder.
“The Stipe fight will be perfect. Stipe weighs the same and has good boxing. I think Jones will run through Stipe,” he added. “I think [Jones] will take him down and win by TKO. He’s been waiting two years for this. He’s walking around at 255 pounds but is so strong. And cardio will be the key. He has so much cardio. He hits pads for two hours and doesn’t slow down.”
As far as a fight against Francis Ngannou, De Castro obviously goes with Jones, too, but says the chances of that fight happening are pretty slim because “The Predator’s” injury that will likely keep him out another year.
Furthermore, De Castro says Jones has mentioned that he will likely fight three more times before he calls it a career.
“Ngannou will be out nine months to fix his knee and then needs six more months in camp,” De Castro said. “Jon Jones will already be 35, and Francis will be, what? I think Jones fights once or twice more. He told me he’ll fight three times and that’s it. But, if he does fight [Ngannou], it’s hard to go against Jones.
“I don’t see anyone touching the man,” he continued. “His wrestling is very, very, very good. His jiu-jitsu is great, he trains with Roberto Alencar at Gracie Barra. And it’s hard to touch him [on the feet]. His distance is great. I don’t think I’ve touched him once. [Laughs.] I walked forward and never touched him. He’s mean, has some techniques that are f****** great. I think he’ll put Ngannou on the ground and will with his cardio, too.”
Of course, retirement plans can change in the blink of an eye, but if “Bones” manages to capture the title along the way, he could very well decide to walk out on top as the champion to end his storied — yet complicated — career on a high note.