Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, after more than a decade of teasing a jump to heavyweight, will finally join the land of the big men when he takes center stage opposite former interim titleholder Ciryl Gane at the upcoming UFC 285 pay-per-view (PPV) event, locked and loaded for this Sat. night (March 4, 2023) at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The transition has been something of a learning process for “Bones,” who was originally assigned that nickname to account for his skinny legs. In fact, Jones got his weight all the way up to 267 pounds during his heavyweight preparations, only to scale it back down to a more optimal level of 245-250 to preserve his championship “engine” on fight night.
“A few months ago, I got up to about 267,” Jones said during the UFC 285 media day. “But I felt a little more bloated and I didn’t like my endurance at that weight. So I plan on competing right around anywhere between 245 and 250 on fight night with Ciryl Gane. I don’t think I need to be overly big in this event. I just need to have the engine to carry me through the event. I have the engine.”
Jones, who turns 36 in July, has not competed since edging out Dominick Reyes to retain his 205-pound title in the UFC 247 main event more than three years ago in Houston. It was the third straight decision victory for “Bones” and a performance that had many of his peers speculating that Jones (26-1, 1 NC) may no longer be fighting in his competitive prime.
Expect all eyes to be on Jones when he tips the scale at the UFC 285 early weigh ins on Friday morning at APEX in “Sin City.” Gane last weighed in at 247 pounds ahead of his destruction of Tai Tuivasa at UFC Paris and is likely to be at or around the same weight for his Jones fight, assuming he didn’t get too “lazy” in his truncated fight camp.