Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight champion Jon Jones will finally make good on the promise he made nearly a decade ago, packing on the pounds ahead of his heavyweight debut at some point in late 2022.
So what can fans expect on fight night?
“His weight is up there right now, and it’s much more than 25 pounds,” coach Brandon Gibson told Submission Radio. “So, he is hitting extremely hard and extremely accurate and technical, and fast. I’ve trained a lot of amazing heavyweights. I trained (Andrei) Arlovski and (Alistair) Overeem and Frank Mir and Travis Browne, and Jon Jones is more powerful, explosive, creative, dynamic than all of ‘em. So, I can’t wait to see Jon make that walk at heavyweight. It’s gonna be something truly, truly special, and I’m humbled to be a part of it.”
Jones has leaked a couple of videos during his 265-pound transition and fickle fans were not impressed by what they saw. Even longtime rival and former heavyweight champion, Daniel Cormier, believes “Bones” is making a tactical error by adding more muscle to his frame.
Gibson doesn’t sound overly concerned.
“We’re not trying to show our sharpest work, right? Jon sometimes just likes to throw up a combination, kind of let everybody see where he’s at. But we’re not going for a speed record or some power record right now,” the JacksonWink striking coach continued. “All we care about is being ready when the bell rings on fight night. So, I think it’s cool when he shares a little snippet of that, but I don’t let any fans’ critique of Jon’s mitt work get to me at all, cause I know how it feels. I know how fast he is. I know how focused and dedicated he’s been the last two and a half years working towards this goal. So, I don’t mind if he shares something. I also don’t mind if we just keep working in the shadows. Because all that matters to me is that fight night. But believe me, Jon is hitting hard, and he’s so skilled right now. His skillset’s at an all-time high, and he has so much power and athleticism and stamina on top of it all. I think the fans are gonna be really, really shocked and surprised when they see him at heavyweight.”
All we need now are a date and opponent.