Jon Jones isn’t too worried about Ciryl Gane’s impressive striking acumen.
“Bones” returns for the first time in over three years when he takes on Gane at UFC 285 on March 4, 2023, for the vacant heavyweight championship. It will be a new adventure for the 35-year-old all-time great, but he’s up for the challenge and doesn’t see “Good Kid” as anything more dangerous than some of his past obstacles.
“No, I don’t”, Jones tweeted quote when asked if he thought Gane was the best striker he would have fought. “Thiago Santos, Lyoto Machida, the list is long. I’ve fought a lot of guys who were mean on their feet. Guys with very intimidating punching power. I feel pretty comfortable, and it’s definitely not a kickboxing match.
“If anything, I feel faster and more explosive [at Heavyweight],” he added. “Definitely knockout power that I didn’t have before. Wrestling is more than a few eliminations, it’s a mentality. I will leave it there. No, [I’m not concerned about ring rust]. I have worked harder in the last three years than I have ever done in my entire career. The fight is in me, it’s who I am.
When looking specifically at Jones’ victories over Brazilians, Santos and Machida, at Light Heavyweight, they were very different performances in two separate eras of Jones’ career. The fight against Machida came first with Jones scoring a second-round guillotine submission at UFC 140 in December 2011 in what was only Jones’ second successful title defense.
Santos was Jones’ second most recent win, earning this one by the only split decision win in his illustrious 28-fight career. Jones followed up the victory with another closely contested and somewhat controversial unanimous decision outing over Dominick Reyes.
Gane, on the other hand, has won five of his 11 career wins by knockout or technical knockout, most recently putting aside powerful punchers Tai Tuivasa and Derrick Lewis.
Who at their best is the best striker?
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