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Demetrious Johnson feels Jon Jones’ weight bulk was unnecessary: ‘He could have done all that at 205’

UFC 285: Jones v Gane Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Demetrious Johnson believes Jon Jones’ recent comeback could have been a much more significant moment than it was.

Jones, 35, ended a three-year layoff at UFC 285 last month (March 4, 2023), defeating Ciryl Gane via first-round guillotine submission (watch highlights) to capture the vacant Heavyweight title. For all of Jones’ time away, he dedicated himself to packing on the weight that would allow him to properly transition from his old home of 205 pounds to the 60-pound gap allowed at Heavyweight (207 to 266).

In the end, “Bones” won with relative ease and barely absorbed a strike outside of a nearly instant illegal kick to the groin. Therefore, his fellow all-time great, Johnson, didn’t see the point in his additional weight.

“Honestly, I didn’t think he needed to put on that weight to do what he just did,” Johnson told The MMA Hour. “He could have done all that at 205. At the end of the day, it’s not like he’s going against a massive jiu-jitsu wrestler in the Heavyweight division, right? Jon Jones is long, he has the range advantage for most of his fights. Look at ‘DC’ (Daniel Cormier). ‘DC’s’ like 5-foot-9, 265 [pounds], and he was able to do everything he wants.

“I’m happy to see he’s back,” he continued. “I think he’s the G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time) because of all the things he’s been able to do and all that stuff he’s done outside ... whatever. For him to come back and do that at Heavyweight, I think he didn’t have to go up to Heavyweight to do that. He could have done that at 205 and held both those belts. He could have been another champ-champ if he really wanted to. He looked great.”

With Jones seeking his first title defense against Stipe Miocic later this year, Johnson also will be making his first title defense up a weight class in his next time out.

The 36-year-old “Mighty Mouse” defends his ONE Championship 135-pound title in a trilogy bout against Adriano Moraes at ONE Fight Night 10 on May 5, 2023, in Denver, Colorado.

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